10 January 2020
By Prof SD Muni
Professor SD Muni is a member of the IDSA’s Executive Council. He served as India’s Special Envoy to SE Asian countries on UNSC Reforms.
Q&A Session by Prof S D Muni
Prof SD Muni was engaged in a Q&A session with young scholars ar NIAS. Scholars posed multiple questions on current political changes across the world, particularly South Asia.
Prof Muni discussed about the leadership changes in Srilanka with recent elections. He mentioned the politics underlying post-Gotabaya's election. The speaker emphasised on political whereabouts of Gotabaya's regime and his constituency. The scholars also gained exposure to Sri Lanka's approach to the US and China and alternatively to topics ranging from Buddhism and investments. A discussion on the Easter bombings was also discussed. The speaker included in his discussion, key mentions to religious dynamics and non-state actors.
To a question on Bangladesh affairs, with BNP Khaled Zia jailed and no opposition who could be the next successor to Sheikh Hasina, the speaker believes politics is a combination of social forces and some social forces assert individual presence. There could be charismatic Awami leaders who may contest and there are possibilities of continuous family politics. He sees the social forces from the Awami league are broadly liberal, secular.
Prof Muni discussed India's stance on religious atrocities including the issue of Uighurs in China. He also emphasised on infrastructure project delays in Myanmar and put forth reality in India's approach in balancing its relations with China.
He also discussed the challenges to India with regard to China and the domestic problems. China has been raising concerns over Kashmir issue at various international platforms extending its support to Pakistan. He asserts that India should at least raise human rights issues prevailing in China at the UN and the need to revisit the China Tibet policy. Prof Muni also saw how recent introduction of CAA, NRC has affected India’s relationship with its neighbors. He was worried how the domestic agenda of appeasing majority to keep the vote bank safe has created tensions and fear across India.