28 July, 2021

On Modi’s Watch, India Has Evolved A Softer Touch With Its Neighbours

On Modi’s watch, India has evolved a softer, defter touch with its neighbours. This course-correction could usher trust and prosperity.

First Sight
Narendra Modi’s swearing-in saw a rare gathering of regional heads-of-state
Photograph by Getty Images
On Modi’s Watch, India Has Evolved A Softer Touch With Its Neighbours

The air in India is thick with national politics—all eyes are set on the gathering storm, trying to read straws in the wind. Big election results, a sense of tectonic plates shifting, court verdicts on high-profile cases like Rafale and 1984…it’s all happening. Commoners and pundits alike could be pardoned for not having developments in far-away Maldives uppermost on their minds, or for not devoting time to seemingly elusive trends in foreign affairs. But if you do a quick CT-scan of India’s often ailing neighbourhood, the image slices will reveal a lot of furious action. Pakistan has a mint-fresh prime minister. Bangladesh may (or may not) get one as the New Year dawns: the country votes on December 30. Sri Lanka got a new premier too—or was it two of them?—no, as the dust settled over a most incredible clash of the country’s institutions, the old PM seems to be back. Then Maldives….

All this tumult in domestic...

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