Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Despite Normalization, lots of loose ends between India, Maldives

Counter-terrorism is an area where India and Maldives have decided to join hands, and New Delhi expects to assist Yameen. In last few years Maldivian radicals have been found to be active in Kerala, which is the route for money and men passing through. In 2007, a radical Muslim arrested by Kerala police was said to be an accused in the Malé bomb blast. The historic connection between the Maldives and Kerala has now become an umbilical cord for the transmission of ultra-conservative Islam that threatens not just the Maldives, but Indian security as well.
The growth in the number of mosques, adoption of headscarves and burqas by more women, and the free flow of Maldivians to Syria and Iraq to fight along with radical Islamic groups has become a visible sign of the path the island nation of 350,000 people has embarked on. Imagine in this background the government of President Yameen decides to embrace Saudi manufactured ultra-conservative Islam and supplant it amongst his people. Indian foreign secretary S Jaishankar played down the number of Islamic State recruits from the Maldives saying only 40 had joined the group.
It is pertinent to note that Kerala has itself for decades been a hotbed of radical Islamic groups.


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