A friend forwarded this article from the Toronto Sun circa 1988. Turns out there was a Tamil mercenary-backed coup in the Maldives that year, and India sent in troops to chase the mercenaries back to Sri Lanka.
In other words, India is fast asserting its presence across the ocean that bears its name. India’s powerful, fast-growing navy of nuclear-powered attack subs, aircraft carriers, destroyers or frigates and naval bombers will make India’s muscle felt from Sri Lanka down to Mozambique. Meanwhile, India’s neighbors, who have been openly grumbling about India’s “Big Brotherism” will now have more to complain about. They will not see the intervention in the Maldives as merely an altruistic act of upholding international law and regional order, but a nerve-jarring example of India becoming West Asia’s policeman. This is a role India will likely pursue. Even so, politics aside, India’s long-maligned military deserves the honors of the day for a job well and professionally done.
And, then you read this article in the New Republic from just days ago about India’s proactive engagement in aiding the victims of the Tsunami disaster:
India is still considered by most observers to be part of the “developing world,” a group of countries that frequently depend on assistance from others. But the day after the tsunami, India became the leading regional provider of assistance to others. The country’s surprising reaction to the tsunami may signal its coming of age as a regional and even global power–with significant consequences for South Asia and beyond.
India as West Asia’s policeman? How about the deputy sheriff for that part of the world? Sounds like a partnership in the making!