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Scrutiny
  
Burma Who?
Obama Wishes India to Interfere in Burma... Burma Who?
09/12/2010

“When peaceful democratic movements are suppressed, as they have been in Burma, for example, then the democracies of the world cannot remain silent,” said Obama during his address to the Indian Parliament. In the same speech (where he also professed earnest US support for the Indian cause) Obama accused India saying, “And if I can be frank, in the international fora, India has often shied away from some of these issues.”

Obama’s reason for chiding India using Burma as an argument lever remains a mystery to diplomatic commentators till date. Burma, for all practical purposes, does not matter one way or the other for India. Economically, India’s trade relations with the military regime of Burma is expected to cross a puny $1 billion by this year. Even global foreign investments in Burma have declined to $315 million this year from the previous year’s $985 million, Burma is not an extremist or a terrorist harbouring nation. The Burmese junta is not an anti-India rhetoric spewing military enterprise. Burmese people are viewed extremely positively and mesh culturally quite well with Indians.

The only reason that could motivate India to interfere in a clearly army dominated nation is the presence and support of China that the Burmese regime enjoys persistently. But then again, should India be cribbing to interfere anywhere and everywhere that Chinese presence exists (China even endorsed Burma’s November elections)? Clearly, the answer is no; and Obama very well knew that before too.

Then what exactly prompted him to bring out an utterly trivial Burma issue? The only reason due to which we guess Obama might have mentioned Burma in his speech was because he had been given more time than he had planned for. The choice to fill up time, ergo, would have been between discussing Chicago White Sox, his favourite baseball team, and Burma. Thankfully, he chose Burma...

By:- Akram Hoque
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