25 November 2014
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s just concluded visit to Fiji marks the beginning of a strategic Indian approach to the South Pacific. Beyond reconnecting with the Indian diaspora, Delhi is looking to forge a development partnership with the Pacific islands.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surprising decision to visit Fiji and the warm welcome he received there are likely to put India into the geopolitical fray among the major powers in the South Pacific.
The last time an Indian prime minister traveled to Fiji was in 1981 when Indira Gandhi arrived there. Since then much has happened in Fiji and around it. The intensification of ethnic conflict in Fiji between the Indian immigrants, who had arrived in the late 19th century as indentured labour, and the native populations saw Delhi focus exclusively on securing the interests of the diaspora.
…C. Raja Mohan is a Distinguished Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation, Delhi and Adjunct Professor of South Asian Studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.
IDSS / RSIS / Online
Last updated on 26/11/2014