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India-Myanmar Policies UPSC NOTE

 

  • Three years on, the military in Myanmar, which overthrew the elected civilian government in February 2021, continues to kill, maim and displace its own people. 

  • India has steadfastly maintained formal relations with this regime, which has so far murdered more than 5,000 people and displaced some 2.5 million people.

  • In its second tenure, the Narendra Modi government did very little to engage with the pro-democracy resistance, which now has both political and military wings. 

  • Indian foreign policy scholars and practitioners have doggedly defended this policy by arguing that India needs to work with the junta if it has to protect its “interests” in Myanmar and not get swayed by an idealistic preoccupation with “values”.

  • It is possible for India to put in place a more progressive, values-driven Myanmar policy that works in favour, and not against, its national interests.

  • This new policy should have two key pivots, namely, democracy and human security. 

  • For long, Myanmar’s pro-democracy political elites and civil society have looked up to India as a model of a federal democratic union with a well-oiled power-sharing arrangement between the centre and various subnational units.

  • This is even more relevant today as the democratic resistance in Myanmar, which is led by the National Unity Government (NUG), dozens of ethnic revolutionary organisations, civil society organisations, and trade unions, strives to replace the military-drafted 2008 constitution with a federal constitution. 

  • By helping this vibrant opposition achieve its aim through capacity-building and knowledge exchange programmes, India can distinguish itself from China, its primary regional competitor in Myanmar. 

  • Secondly, India needs to immediately halt all weapon sales to the Myanmar military

  • Third, India needs to immediately open cross-border humanitarian corridors to help civilians affected by the conflict along three border provinces — Sagaing Region, Chin State and northern Rakhine State. 

  • New Delhi needs to first revoke its plans to fence the India-Myanmar border and reinstate the Free Movement Regime, or the FMR, which the Union Home Ministry suspended in February 2024.

  • Mizoram, where a multi-layered asylum and aid ecosystem is already operational, is a good starting point. 

  • India should also collaborate with local and international non-governmental organisations with experience in the field

  • Fourth, the Narendra Modi government should immediately halt the detention and deportation of asylum seekers from Myanmar. 

  • This is especially so in the case of Manipur, where the BJP-led government has so far deported 115 asylum seekers to Myanmar

  • Regardless of the fact that India has not ratified the 1951 Refugee Convention, it is incumbent upon the government to treat them as refugees in need of humanitarian assistance and protection rather than as “illegal immigrants”.

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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: India-Myanmar Policies UPSC NOTE
India-Myanmar Policies UPSC NOTE
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