An Ex-President, 'India Out' & China: Why is Jaishankar's Maldives Trip Vital?


Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, India's external affairs minister, completed an eventful trip to the Maldives on Sunday, 27 March. Along with regional security and maritime safety issues, he reportedly discussed "socio-economic development, trade and investment, and also tourism" with his counterpart Abdulla Shahid, the foreign minister of the archipelagic nation. There are, however, other factors at play here. The "India Out" campaign is regaining momentum in the country, especially after Abdulla Yameen, the former Maldivian president, was released from house arrest three months ago. The spectre of China may be another reason why India is signing pacts on socio-economic development and reiterating the importance of defence cooperation. What is "India Out", and why is Jaishankar's visit important? Read on.