What should be India’s priorities in dealing with countries in the Islamic world? (15 Marks)

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The year of 2019 has been the harbinger of new momentum in India’s relationships with Islamic nations. For the first time, India was invited to be the guest of honour at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. OIC states it is the collective voice of the Muslim world and works to safeguard their interests.

This development was of much importance for India because India is home to the second-largest Muslim population of the world but still remains outside OIC. The OIC in the past has been critical of India’s actions when it comes to Kashmir. Only last year, it had condemned the killings of Kashmiris by the armed forces in “India-occupied Kashmir” and called it a terrorist act.

In this context, there is a need for urgent realigning of India’s priorities in dealing with the Islamic world.

India’s priorities in dealing with the Islamic world

  • Domestic Policies of India such as J&K bifurcation, NRC in Assam, Triple Talaq issue, Citizenship Amendment Act attract criticism from the Islamic world. India needs to engage with the Islamic nations to make them understand India’s point of view – that these policies are directed towards strategic, security and human rights concerns in India.
  • Protection of Minorities: especially Muslims in India so that OIC and other Islamic nations do not get a reason to criticize India. Normalcy must be restored in Jammu and Kashmir as soon as possible.
  • Engaging with countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iran who have a greater say in regional affairs of the Islamic world.
  • Saudi Arabia is amidst a reform period under Crown Prince Salman and India can be an active partner. S. Arabia is already the largest supplier of crude oil to India and as it moves away from the oil-based economy it will create a huge market for Indian industries and labour.
  • Post US sanctions against Iran, India too has decreased crude imports from Iran. India must find alternative methods of payment to continue trade relationship with Iran.
  • India’s growing closeness with Israel is seen with suspicion in the Islamic World. India must actively engage with Islamic nations to make them believe of India’s commitment to Palestine’s cause and India-Israel relationship is de-hyphenated from relations with other Islamic nations.
  • Indonesia the country with the largest Islamic population can be an engaging partner in India’s initiatives such as IORA, BIMSTEC and SAGAR.

India has an urgent need to remove the growing negative perceptions of its domestic policies in the Middle East and more broadly the Muslim world. Domestic politics must not be allowed to affect diplomatic relationships.

Greater engagement, trade relations and people to people contact can help India allay the fears in Islamic nations. India must project and strengthen its pluralistic and composite cultural heritage image to build a closer relationship with Islamic nations.

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Dipanshu Sharma
Dipanshu Sharma
2 years ago
Banke Bihari
Banke Bihari
2 years ago

1st line of introduction is good.
2nd line could have been omitted to avoid repetition. Anyway you had to discuss energy and diaspora in main body.
Instead, you could have written geographical regions of Muslims world like West Asia and Indonesia – Malaysia. Even some African countries are Islamic. A very rough world map could have been even better.

Good that you have written point wise answer in main body.
You could have discussed points in bit more detail, adding 1-2 lines more with examples and steps taken by government. Like in point on energy , might have mentioned recent strategic partnership on energy with Saudi. Terror financing issue and recent deportations from Saudi Arabia as example of increasing cooperation on terrorism.

Examples and data makes point more authentic (like you used in Space cooperation point).

You might have mentioned Kashmir issue and need to mold OIC opinion.

This is 15 marks question. Your content looks like that of 10 marks question.
You should have added some more aspects. Like what are challenges. Need of balancing game while dealing with Iran – Saudi Arabia – Israel all together.

Handwriting and spacing is good. Maintain healthy spacing while changing para — like between Introduction and start of main body.

Again try to include at least one recent step or fact in conclusion.
Yours is good conclusion but may appear too general.

Keep writing!!