Politics & International Studies

India’s neighbourhood woes: Friends on the fence?

India's neighbourhood woes: Friends on the fence?
Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina| unep.org

In Bangladesh, the “India Out” slogans are more aimed at Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina with India seen as one of her international supporters.


Elizabeth Roche, Associate Professor, Jindal School of International Affairs, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.


Last month’s elections to the Maldivian parliament – the Majlis – gave President Mohamed Muizzu’s People’s National Congress a resounding victory with more seats than it needed for a two-thirds majority. Given Muizzu’s pro-China stance and that he was elected last year on an “India Out” plank, the poll results could be seen as a setback for India, a measure of anti-India feelings among the Maldivian people.

A look around the subcontinent shows a nascent “India Out” campaign also rearing its head in Bangladesh, impatience or even discontent against India among people in Myanmar over New Delhi’s continued ties with the military junta in Nay Pyi Taw, and disappointment among Afghans over New Delhi’s recent engagements with the Taliban after years of supporting the anti-Taliban forces in Afghanistan.

In Nepal, anti-India feelings are never far from the surface. Memories of a blockade in 2015 that many in Nepal see as imposed by India – though New Delhi denies this – haven’t quite faded yet.

This comes against the backdrop of India’s strategic rival China increasing its influence in these countries around India’s periphery. Some quarters in India also suspect Beijing of fanning anti-India feelings in its neighbourhood.

Published in: Deccan Herald

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