Does India needs Agalega
The newspaper even went to suggest that it was a pegging exercise with the on going discussions on DTA talks between India and Mauritius. Accepting to cede on leasing Agalega on those terms would have been tantamount to tacitly accept that black money from India was transiting through Mauritius and no government would have accepted that. Anyway the onus to discourage channeling of black money overseas falls on the Indian government. The Mauritian Minister of Foreign affairs who was then on official mission to India, visited the Indian daily’s newspaper to object to the report. Even the answer of the daily was not to the point. Anyway the Mauritian government could have made legal jurisprudence history by taking the daily to court. Thinking of the ongoing discussions on the DTA, one fails to understand why the painstaking discussions on eventual export of some goods from Mauritius to India have not been implemented yet. One is of the opinion that India always wants a buoyant and vibrant Mauritius. Eventual access of these goods to India duty free would have doped the Mauritian producing machine. Do pegging this implementation to eventual DTA new agreements between the two countries make any sense ?
Any ceding of a piece of Mauritius territory to another country by the government would be seen as political suicide. One has to remember, the rhetoric which followed the issue of retrocession of Diego Garcia by the British from the then colony of Mauritius in 1965 and the political mileage loss by some local politicians on the geopolitical calculations of the political masters of the day. One has also to remember that recent cabinet papers released by the British testify to the fact that there have been a series of lies on the issue of Diego Garcia and today public affairs are conducted in a highly transparent world.
All said, does India need Agalega ? An Indian cabinet minister recently suggested that his country needed to look at the sea for mining some strategic minerals. China through the International Seabed Authority last year got some ten thousand square kilometers of sea territory for exploitation purposes. South Korea, which aggressively is pursuing its strategy for a blue economy and wants to become one of the top world food exporters by 2020, last month was awarded the same quantity of international sea territory closer to Sri Lanka by the International Seabed Authority chaired by a Mauritian diplomat. So it is clear that India which has been conducting research in the Indian Ocean can go to that particular instance to plead for some international sea territory for any commercial and strategic purpose. One has to remember that India has a vast sea territory since it has a massive coastline.
When it comes to its defense on the seas, India might be concerned by China’s hyperactivity in terms of naval presence in the Indian Ocean and port building in Sri Lanka and Pakistan etc.
Building of India’s various air craft carriers with South Korean and Russian technology have taken some delays and the second one is expected to come into operation in 2017. By that time the only one, at present in operation will be scrapped.
In the light of the above, it can be deducted that eventual leasing of Agalega to India or as a matter of fact to any other country hardly serves the interest of Mauritius. India has the capacity and political intelligence to do away with any mention of Agalega.
Tags: agalega, Indian, mauritius