INDIA OUT CAMPAIGN (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – IR)

News-CRUX-10     8th January 2024        

Context: Recently, under fire and grappling with a situation fast turning into a diplomatic row, the Maldives government of President, whose party rode to power last year on an 'India Out' poll campaign, suspended three ministers for making derogatory remarks about the Prime Minister of India and the people of India.

India Out Campaign

  • About: ‘India Out’ campaign started around 2020 with some on-ground protests in the Maldives and later spread widely across social media platforms using the phrase with a related hashtag. 

oIt was alleged that New Delhi has sent a large military contingent to the Maldives, a claim that the Solih government repeatedly denied.

  • Cooperation for Harbor Development: Attention has been specifically drawn to the collaboration between the two nations aimed at developing a harbor on the Uthuru Thilafalhu (UTF) atoll for the Maldivian Coast Guard.
  • Indian Military Presence Clarification: The current Maldivian government asserts that, aside from a maintenance and flight crew managing three Dornier aircraft for surveillance, rescue, and air ambulance operations, there are no Indian military personnel stationed in the Maldives.

Importance of Maldives for India

  • India's West Coast: Maldives is located just 70 nautical miles away from Minicoy and 300 nautical miles away from India's west coast.
  • Strategic Position in Commercial Sea-Lanes: It serves as a strategic hub for commercial sea-lanes in the Indian Ocean, particularly at the 8° N and 1 ½° N channels.
  • Location Between Busy Trade Routes: Maldives is positioned between the world's busiest trade routes, including the Strait of Malacca and the Suez Canal.
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