The decision to move 50 tonnes of relief supplies into the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh, combined with the advance announcement of a major project to assist the Rohingya province in Myanmar, is the latest example of the use of humanitarian aid by India as an instrument of foreign policy The Rohingya crisis, however, underlines the obvious limits of the application of such “soft power”. This can improve the conditions of some Rohingyas and help reduce the extreme poverty of Rakhine Province. However, one can not address the root cause of the crisis: the deep hatred of the Rohingyas of Myanmar hatred fueled by a toxic combination of racism and religious intolerance.
The Indian government can be proud of the greater variety and capacity it has shown to handle a growing list of humanitarian crises. In recent years, New Delhi has orchestrated the evacuation of Indian and foreign nationals from various failed states in the Arab world – Syria, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. It took the initiative to respond to the massive earthquake in Nepal, the Malagasy crisis of drinking water and landslides in Sri Lanka. Minor efforts were also deployed, including the provision of assistance to typhoon-inflicted Philippines. All this reflects in part a greater capacity thanks to the increase of the capacity of the military aviation of India.
But it also reflects New Delhi’s recognition that it must increase India’s influence and project a positive image in the larger region. The subtext of this situation is the decline in US military presence in the Indian Ocean region, but it is also related to China’s growing footprint in the same region. In addition, the new bet New Delhi to help Indians overseas in détresse.Myanmar and the plight of the Rohingya recall the severe constraints that India continues to have influence even for policies of medium-sized countries. This is an important lesson because New Delhi must be careful of imperial overcoming even before it has developed the reach of a great power.
However, their attempts to balance between Bangladesh and Myanmar use their help to solve immediate humanitarian problems and influence the genocidal form of Naypyidaw in private were seriously muddy because of the government’s abrupt decision to tighten the screws of the Rohingya refugees in India . One can be sympathetic to the problem of manipulating a Myanmar, given the limitations of the realpolitik that stem from the presence of China, but not a short-term decision to examine the situation of the Rohingyas in India. The benefits derived from the generosity of India beyond borders are nullified by its parsimony within its own.