The former Maldives President Mohammed Nasheed hasn’t acquitted himself well on his current India tour. His intemperate remarks about his country’s politics while addressing a foreign audience — and that too, while visiting a neighboring country — do not befit a statesman. He’s finding fault with everyone else under the tropical sun — except himself.
Of course, his remarks make excellent copies
in the Indian media and may cause some passing discomfiture to his political opponents at home, but they cannot make any positive contribution to the resolution of the political deadlock in Maldives. Arguably, they may raise hackles in Male and make an already complicated situation even worse.
Nasheed’s references to his country’s armed forces are particularly appalling
, given their extreme sensitivity at this delicate point when Maldives is struggling to find its depths as a practising democracy. Besides, he may still have a political inning to his career and the armed forces may have to be his working partners in such an eventuality.
I wonder what prompted him to say all this. Surely he is knowledgeable about the layout of the Indian strategic discourses and regional policies. The ease with which he has woven a ‘China angle’
into the tapestry of his political woes is breathtaking.
That brings me to a very big question: Is Nasheed visiting India as a guest of our government? I hope not, since it is high time that the countries of the region turned their back on messing around with the internal affairs of neighbors. In the ultimate analysis, Maldives must discover on its own terms
its political equilibrium and it can’t be an induced labour. It is also in India’s interests that things work out that way. Sri Lanka would have as much right to interfere in Maldives as India would have, but it is setting an example of restraint and deference to international law.
Unfortunately, Nasheed is drawing attention to his flawed political personality. Simply put, he had just about everything going in his favour — he was a darling of the West and a good neighbor for India — and yet he blew it. That is the honest truth if one scratches the bottom of the barrel. Doesn’t prime minister Manmohan Singh face all the time challenges to his political authority from his so-called allies and sly sniping from own party men (or women) as well as savvy opponents? Isn’t there at times systemic resistance to his political agenda from within the establishment ? Yes, there is. But then, that is the fate of all statesmen and that is also the quintessence of day-to-day politics in a democracy. Nasheed reminds me of the tragedy of Shakespeare’s King Lear.
Posted in Politics.
– April 19, 2012