It was inevitable, after all. No one really expected the peaceful demonstrations of unarmed monks- no matter how many- to overthrow a miltary dictatorship. Yet, in this age of false propaganda, it is rare to have a genuine public movement for democracy, and Myanmar was perhaps the most genuine of them all. When such a thing is crushed, as it was, swiftly and brutally, a deep sense of regret is perhaps not out of order.
What was shamefully out of order, however, was India’s response to the situation. For days, India dithered and hesitated. She issued statements that meant absolutely nothing, and when the junta emerged victorious, she -no doubt relieved at not having to deal with change –resumed business as usual.
I do not dispute that India – like any other country – should put its interests first. But is it really in India’s long term interests to have Myanmar ruled by a hated military dictatorship? Will our causes not be better served by a free, stable, democratic Myanmar, where the rightful position of Prime Minister will be finally occupied, eighteen years after legitimate elections were nullified by the military, by a lady who was once a college girl in Delhi, who India awarded the Jawaharlal Nehru award in 1993, and who is – despite being under house arrest for two decades- one of the greatest beacons for freedom the world has ever known?