BJP Must Prioritize Diplomacy Over Political Exploitation

The status of Kachchativu, a small but significant island, has long been unequivocally established through international agreements and legal frameworks.

1 min read
Kachchatheevu Island, Sri Lanka

Editorial

In a recent political rally in Tamil Nadu, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, forerunner of the ruling BJP, made a startling declaration, vowing to “reclaim Kachchativu.” Such rhetoric, though potentially resonating with certain factions of the electorate, is not only reckless but perilous in the realm of international diplomacy.

It is imperative that Prime Minister Modi and his administration refrain from engaging in manipulative politicking with delicate matters that carry profound repercussions, particularly in India’s relations with its neighbours. The status of Kachchativu, a small but significant island, has long been unequivocally established through international agreements and legal frameworks.

Let us firmly remind the Prime Minister that he is supported by a seasoned diplomat, Dr. Subramaniam Jayashankar, serving as the Minister of External Affairs. It is inconceivable that the Prime Minister remains unaware of the intricate nuances of international law regarding Kachchativu’s sovereignty. As underscored by the Attorney General of India in 2014, Kachchativu undeniably falls under Sri Lanka’s jurisdiction, as delineated by bilateral and multilateral agreements endorsed by all involved parties, including the United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Mr. Modi’s evocation of Raj’s Mandala theory, advocating a zero-sum game approach to foreign policy where neighbouring nations are regarded as adversaries, is not only antiquated but also perilous. The contemporary world necessitates collaboration and diplomacy, not aggressive posturing and territorial ambitions. Furthermore, exploiting sensitive international issues for political gains only serves to undermine trust and stability in the region.

India’s relationships with its neighbours are intricate and multifaceted. While challenges persist, they must be tackled through dialogue, cooperation, and adherence to international norms. Endeavouring to leverage contentious matters for short-term political mileage risks jeopardizing the nation’s long-term interests.

As pivotal elections approach, it is imperative for the Indian electorate to demand accountability and prudent leadership from their representatives. The issues confronting the nation, including those pertaining to foreign relations and territorial disputes, demand mature and principled dialogue, not incendiary rhetoric crafted to sway votes.

We implore Prime Minister Modi and his government to prioritize diplomacy and statesmanship over political expediency. India’s standing on the global stage hinges on its capacity to engage positively with its neighbours and uphold the principles of law. Let us not sacrifice these principles on the altar of electoral expediency.

Sri Lanka Guardian

The Sri Lanka Guardian is an online web portal founded in August 2007 by a group of concerned Sri Lankan citizens including journalists, activists, academics and retired civil servants. We are independent and non-profit. Email: editor@slguardian.org

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