Source: The Hitavada      Date: 19 Dec 2018 14:34:30










THE storm in the Indian Ocean might not have blown over but it has certainly assumed calmer proportions as far as relations between India and Maldives are concerned. Change in the ruling dispensation in Male has reinvigorated New Delhi to refresh the soured ties with the archipelago. The USD 1.4bn assistance announced for Maldives by Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi is the first healing touch towards reinstating the ‘bridge of friendship’ that was under severe pressure due to increasing Chinese debt-trap on Maldives. Among the critical pacts signed by India and Maldives is enhancing maritime security. This takes care of the Chinese assertion in the Indian Ocean and gives New Delhi a strong grip on the crucial strategic port. Call it a quirk of fate but India was handed a golden opportunity to re-enter Maldives’ socio-economic thinking with the unexpected election of Mr. Ibrahim Mohmed Solih in September. It is imperative for New Delhi to make a full-fledged commitment to ensure development in Maldives to cut China’s presence.


NOT many sporting rivalries hold the power to stir collective emotions across the globe. Over the years, the way cricketing battles have panned out between India and Australia, the sense of a riveting battle is back on the cricket field. With an overtly aggressive leader like Virat Kohli adopting eye-to-an-eye approach the spectacle spreads on a totally different canvas. Just that the beauty of the spectacle is enhanced only by turning on the right side of the result. At Perth, India managed to do all things contrary to the requirement. This is the essence of India’s hurting loss in the second Test. Verbal jousting is a good thing if one has the skill to back it up. Barring Kohli and Mohd Shami, India look a pale shadow fighting a losing battle. They just failed to turn up against an Australian side perceived to be the weakest in many years. If India cannot bring out their best even against the weakest then all the talk of aggression should be flushed down the drain. It is the end result that matters, not histrionics. Kohli and Ravi Shastri need to realise the truth.