[Answered] Critically examine India’s foreign policy towards Myanmar in light of the ongoing political crisis and human rights violations. (250 words)

Introduction: Contextual Introduction

Body: Examine Indian foreign policy towards Myanmar and suggest new ways to deal with it.

Conclusion: Way forward

India’s foreign policy towards Myanmar has been shaped by a combination of historical ties, geopolitical considerations, and strategic interests. The two countries share deep cultural and economic connections, and the 1,643 km long border makes Myanmar’s stability crucial for India’s northeastern states.

India’s Competing Concerns

  • Democracy and Human Rights: As the world’s largest democracy, India has publicly expressed concern about the coup and ongoing human rights violations.
  • Strategic Interests: India shares a long border with Myanmar and views it as a crucial buffer against China’s influence in the region. Additionally, India has invested heavily in infrastructure projects, particularly in the oil and gas sector within Myanmar, and relies on it for access to Southeast Asia.

India’s Balancing Act:

  • Rhetorical Condemnation: India has condemned the coup and called for a return to democracy. However, its statements haven’t been as forceful as those from Western nations.
  • Maintaining Engagement: India has continued some level of engagement with the military junta, providing humanitarian aid and keeping diplomatic channels open. This approach aims to maintain some influence and prevent Myanmar from leaning entirely towards China.

A New Policy Approach: Values and Interests

  • Promoting Democracy: India should leverage its democratic credentials to support Myanmar’s pro-democracy groups and the National Unity Government (NUG) in replacing the military-drafted 2008 constitution with a federal one.
  • Halting Weapon Sales: India should immediately stop all weapon sales to the Myanmar military. Ceasing these sales would signal India’s commitment to not supporting the military’s brutal tactics against civilians.
  • Humanitarian Outreach: India needs to open cross-border humanitarian corridors to assist civilians affected by the conflict in border regions like Sagaing, Chin, and northern Rakhine states. Reinstating the Free Movement Regime (FMR) and collaborating with local and international NGOs can ensure effective aid delivery.
  • Protecting Asylum Seekers: India should stop detaining and deporting asylum seekers from Myanmar. Adhering to the principle of non-refoulement, which prevents sending refugees back to places where they face danger, and providing humane shelter would demonstrate India’s commitment to humanitarian values.


India’s foreign policy towards Myanmar amidst the ongoing political crisis and human rights violations requires a balanced approach that integrates strategic interests with democratic values and human security.

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