Topic: India and its neighbourhood- relations.
3) Declaring Indian ocean a “zone of peace “ would be in the interest of all the stakeholders, including India. Critically Comment.(250 words)
Why this question
In 2015 India and Mauritius signed an agreement which gave India the right to build infrastructure on the small Mauritian archipelago of Agaléga. However, many small islands in Indian ocean have been historically exploited as Naval bases and there have been genuine apprehensions about India also building a Naval Base there. There are certain pros/ necessities as well as certain cons associated with the decision. the issue is related to GS2 syllabus under the following heading-
India and its neighbourhood- relations.
Key demand of the question
The question wants us to bring forth reasons/ explanation for, why declaring Indian ocean a “zone of peace “ would be in the interest of all the stakeholders. Here we also have to identify the stakeholders in the region. We have to form a balanced opinion, keeping in mind the interest of all those stakeholders.
Critically comment – here we have to present our personal thoughts/ opinion on the given statement- Declaring Indian ocean a “zone of peace “. We have to give reasons in support of our answer/ opinion and we also have to look at the other side- hear the complexity personal interests of countries involved.
Structure of the answer
Introduction– mention the economic and strategic importance of Indian Ocean and mention some of the important Islands in the Indian Ocean like Seychelles, Hambantota, Diego Garcia, La Réunion which are also Naval bases of various world powers.
- Bring reasons for declaring Indian ocean as a zone of peace. e.g mention the pledge of 1970 Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in Lusaka, Zambia; humanitarian and environmental issues associated with the militarization of small islands in the Indian Ocean, environmental threats faced by these islands are being total sidelined etc.
- Discuss why reaching such an agreement is a difficult task or what are the problems involved. the e.g rivalry between world powers amid huge economic and strategic significance of Indian Ocean, difficult to reverse historical agreements, rising tensions in the region, increasing Chinese naval presence which in turn has evoked India’s similar response.
Conclusion – based on your own opinion suggest the way forward.