Topic-India and its bilateral relations
2) India should not be deterred by temporary setbacks in its relationship with Maldives and continue to pursue close relationship with its island neighbour. Analyze. (250 words)
Why this question
Relationship between India and Maldives has taken a positive turn in recent days after a phase where the relationship between the countries had soured. Maldives plays an important role in India’s designs for Indian Ocean and hence developments need to be prepared.
Key demand of the question
The question expects us to highlight the issue that plagued India Maldives relationship. Thereafter, we need to examine the impact of China on the relationship, discuss the steps taken by India to pursue better relations with Maldives and explain the way forward for the relationship.
Analyze – When asked to analyze, you have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary. When you are asked to analyze, you have to examine each part of the problem. It is a broader term than ‘Examine’.
Structure of the answer
Introduction – Explain about the recent visit of Maldives president to India and highlight that the relationship between the two countries has oscillated in the recent past.
- Explain the issues arising in the relationship. Discuss the impact of China on the relationship
- Maldives had veered too close to China for India’s comfort, welcoming Chinese money for major infrastructure projects and signing a controversial free trade agreement (FTA). India’s entreaties for political moderation and closer security ties were summarily ignored. Etc
- Discuss the steps taken by Indian government to have better ties with Maldives
- Mr. Solih’s India visit has seen the two sides emphasise their traditionally close bond. He called India the island nation’s “closest friend” and “reaffirmed his government’s ‘India-First’ Policy”
- India, for its part, announced a financial assistance package of $1.4 billion for the Maldives in the form of budgetary support, currency swap agreements and concessional lines of credit.
- Both have agreed to ensure that they would keep other’s security interests in mind as they consolidate cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
- They have agreed to strengthen maritime security cooperation in the IOR through coordinated patrol and aerial surveillance. Etc
- Examine future course of the relationship and what this means for India going forward. New Delhi had regained some of its lost space in the Maldives’ foreign policy and politics. Malé has also made it clear that while the neighbourhood will clearly be a priority for the Solih government, China will continue to play an important role as an economic partner. So China is not going to disappear from the Maldivian foreign policy matrix. Nor should India expect it to. But the logic of geography dictates that India’s role will be critical in determining the trajectory of political developments in the Maldives.
Conclusion – Give your view on the status of India Maldives relationship and discuss way forward.