Though it may have been a while now after Aung San Suu Kyi has been released after pressures within Myanmar and outside it has mounted on its military rulers, the relevance of this visit could not be underplayed for both India and Myanmar.
India’s Inconsistent Foreign Policy towards Myanmar
- India Defeated Gandhian Principles by supporting Military Dictators of Mynamar
Suu Kyi that is known to have got her education in Delhi itself has said that while great political personalities like Mahatma Gandhi and JL Nehru have come to be associated with India, yet little is done to continue with the legacy of these leaders. Even Indian historian Ramachandra Guha also thinks on similar lines and calls Suu Kyi as the real gandhian that has come to being outside India. All other self proclaimed Gandhi followers are termed as “nakli” (fake) by the eminent historian.
The shift in India’s policy is evident from that fact that first for years India went on to support Suu Kyi’s protest and then suddenly shifted sides and started extending support to military junta. India also supplied weaponry to military junta out of the insecurity stemming from China’s proximity with Myanmar’s Military Dictators and stronghold gained by terrorist infiltrators on Indo-Myanmar Border. This decision proved disastrous and wrecked Suu Kyi’s movement as India became one of the eight countries that continued supplying weapons to Military Dictators when all others have cut their ties with the establishment. These regular supplies of arms and ammunition were used by military junta to suppress the public outcries of democracy in Myanmar.
US President Barack Obama has also expressed his dissatisfaction at India’s dwindling ways. He said in his addressing speech for parliament during his India visit that just emerging powerful on the global stage does not suffice for a country. Countries wielding such power should also raise its voice whenever a Human rights violation takes place anywhere.
It is impertinent to signal at Indian Diplomats unease over the comment but Suu Kyi also followed in Obama’s footsteps and expressed her share of dissatisfactions from India. For India on the other hand, the continuing economic uncertainty after 9/11 has prompted to policy makers to change their strategy and now adopt “Look East” policy against the former “Look West” policy.
Econometrics of India-Myanmar relations
The economic perspective behind this visit is glaring as after losing on economic development for decades under the military rule, Myanmar is willing to compensate for the lack of economic foresightedness. Although Suu Kyi hasn’t indicated that she isn’t in favor of economic development of Myanmar but has criticized the Indian government’s decision to begin bi-lateral trade with military dictators only recently.
India is nowhere near in the league of investors that Myanmar has got in the form of South Asian Countries and Japan. India’s rank in Myanmar as an investor ranks at 13 on the basis of volumes though it has risen from $557Mn to $1.2Bn during 2005 to 2010. India is also helping Myanmar in building its infrastructure
Chinese Connection in Myanmar:
The Chinese had invested heavily in Myanmar and have invested in a wide range of categories like Oil and Gas Pipelines, Roads Network, Railways and Hydropower projects. These huge funds running in billions of Dollars are given to Myanmar in the form of Interest-Free loans.
China has managed to link Kunming (Yuan Province) to the Bay of Bengal that has spooked India. China’s naval presence in the Indian Ocean has also beefed up significantly in the recent years.