Myanmar Myopia

As much as marketeers get it wrong, policy makers too err, when they turn myopic. Shekhar Gupta got it flat wrong in his views on what should shape Indian foreign policy, appearing on the 'NDTV Big Fight'.

The debate was on India's response to the Democracy movement in Myanmar. Shekhar is right in saying that 'national interest' reigns supreme while formulating foreign policy, but he errs when he approaches foreign policy formulations with a myopic view. India's muted response to the democracy movement is a myopic response as it looks only at immediate payoffs as considerations. In the long run, Burma will one day be free and then, as the lady on the show warned, they will not forget India having turned their backs on a true people's movement.

Also Shekhar comparing the scenario in Pakistan to the one in Myanmar saying India can't go meddling in other country's affairs even if there is an autocratic setup in these countries, again is over the top. Simply because its an apples to oranges comparison. The quelling of total civil liberties in Burma (Myanmar) can in no way be compared to what President Musharraf has done in Pakistan.

In foreign policy, the strategic fit model (matching internal strengths to opportunities in the external environment) has to be replaced with one that looks at 'strategic intent', ie., its not just about the present but more about the future.

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