India being the largest and oldest democracy in the world has always respected the sovereignty and integrity of other countries. Discuss in the light of recent happenings and India's stance on Maldives.

Published: March 17, 2016

India being the largest and oldest democracy in the world has always respected the sovereignty and integrity of other countries. We follow a policy of non interference, yet India has always helped other countries in securing their independence and ideas of democracy. With respect to unrest in Maldives, India has always intervened at the request of Maldivian authorities. Also unlike other countries criticizing the imposition of emergency, India has restrained from any official statements.
Maldives is an important country for India given its geo strategic position in the Indian Ocean. It is an important country for India to ensure maritime security given the fact it is located astride India’s sea lanes. Moreover, India has also been concerned about present regime’s tilt towards China with the Maldives signing up for the Chinese Maritime Silk Route initiative. Presently China accounts for about one-third of tourist arrivals and is also actively investing in infrastructure construction in the tourist sector. Engagement of China to this extent could culminate in a Chinese naval presence in Maldives.
Also political instability and rising religious radicalism in Maldives will give an opportunity to anti Indian terror groups to take route there.
Further India already had rocky ties with Maldives over the detention of former president Mohammed Nasheed on charges of terrorism. India in accordance with UN report has expressed concern over Nasheed’s arrest on terrorism charges and demanded his release.
But Maldives refuse to budge and see it as interference in its domestic matters which has bit soured the relation between two countries.
Considering the importance Maldives holds for India from all angles and the misconception Maldives hold of India, India needs to take a cautious approach. Indian government should closely watch the developments in Maldives and accordingly take a stand and in case of any extreme situation.

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