Staking Maldives, Looking Lakshadweep: Why India Needs the Neighbourhood


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In what must be a unique phenomenon for any country, Maldives periodically chooses between two of the largest contestants on earth in a national election. The individual candidates may go by any other name but beyond the veneer, the influencer emerges from among the behemoths: India or China. Over successive polls, power has changed hands with such metronomic fidelity that the losing candidate bides time to turn the tables by the next election. When President Mohammed Muizzu seized power in Male, shocking Ibrahim Solih, it was known that the incumbent would lean towards China. With his ‘India Out’ election campaign,...