Why democracy in Myanmar is important for India?

There are some developments in the world that can make your blood boil with rage. The way Myanmar is treating its people is one of them.

There’s currently military rule there (their leader Aung San Soo Kyi was overthrown) and almost 1000 people have died including women and children.


There was a meeting held in the UN General Assembly where certain sanctions were to be filed against Myanmar. India did not support those sanctions which basically means that we are supporting military rule. This is a historic mistake considering it’s the only chance we have to take Coco island back from Myanmar which was gifted to them by our first Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru.


India has its reasons for staying absent when the UN General Assembly passed its sanctions. India sells weapons to Myanmar’s military and it feels that their trade will be affected. This isn’t a prudent decision considering we don’t sell too many weapons to them.


India is also involved with Myanmar in the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project. They shouldn’t worry too much about it because China won’t let that project come to fruition. Moreover, China has taken control of Coco island where they have already built an airstrip.


They are developing additional military infrastructure there. They have got the island on lease and considering their strong-arm tactics, it doesn’t look likely that they’ll leave the place.


From the Coco island, China can keep a closer look on key defence positions in Odisha. They can also watch the developments in Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota, ISRO’s space station. We can’t let their surveillance team watch all this. Coco island can also become a base for their navy and we can’t allow that to happen either.


PM Narendra Modi has an option to recapture this island. Legally, India gave the island to Myanmar’s democratic government in 1948. They didn’t give it to any military regime. If Modi decides to take aggressive military action on Myanmar, they will not face any implications.


Recently, former US President Donald Trump had Iran's military officer Qasim Sulemani killed. Iran is a much more powerful country than Myanmar but it couldn’t even fight back. Similarly, if India takes stringent action against Myanmar’s military regime, it won’t face too many consequences. Even China won’t be able to do anything since no country wants to get too involved in external war.


If we don’t take action now, the upcoming generations will ask us – what were we doing when China was covering us from all sides? They’re already planning to establish a base in Pakistan’s Bundal and Bhuddo islands. They’re present in Sri Lanka and Nepal too.


We should not waste any more time because already 119 countries (including those in North America and Europe) are against Myanmar. India should be the one waging a war since they are in such close proximity.


Such a move wouldn’t be the first Indian attack. Earlier, in 1971 (when Indira Gandhi was our Prime Minister and Sam Manekshaw was our Army Chief), we helped create Bangladesh from Pakistan. Bangladesh used to be East Pakistan then and it was necessary to ensure its independence for us to keep Pakistan in check. It’s been 50 years since then and history is asking to be repeated. Our army has grown by leaps and bounds since then.


We have to fight for democracy. We have to fight for the people of Myanmar who are being tortured for no fault of theirs.


References:

  1. India’s abstention at the UN on Myanmar vote (Outlook India)

  2. A complex history and layered present: What determines India’s response to military rule in Myanmar (Indian Express)

  3. Indo-Pakistani war of 1971 (Wikipedia)

  4. What China Stands to Gain From Myanmar Military’s Coup and What it Means for India (News18)