Modi Leadership: India tells Tamil Nadu it has no fishing rights around Katchatheevu Sri Lanka

Narendra Modi

Straightforward leadership has been lacking in politics and by politicians. Narendra Modi has shown he is a different and ushering a new era and new style. We commend the recent directive of Narendra Modi.

In what should be heralded as the correct leadership the Central Government has taken foreign policy and decision making under its control. India’s Centre has correctly informed the Madras High Court that

  1. Sri Lanka has sovereignty over the islet of Katchchetivu
  2. Indian fishermen have no rights to fish in that region.
  3. Indian fishermen can have access to the Katchchetivu islet only to dry their nets or to go on Catholic pilgrimage (this right did not cover fishing rights for Indian fishermen)

This was India upholding the texts of the International Maritime Boundary Agreement between India and Sri Lanka signed in 1974 and subsequent agreement in 1976.

India has made quite clear too that there is no question of ceding Indian territory because the territory did not belong to India. The 1974 agreement only demarcated boundary between India and Sri Lanka from Palk Strait to Adam’s Bridge.

What Modi has through his new administrative apparatus has shown is that Indian States need to now realize that their focus is on their State and not on international affairs. This is where Congress erred in allowing Tamil Nadu to dictate how India ran its relations with Sri Lanka or at least externally showcased that for petty political gain.

Modi has shown his no-nonsense attitude and put to rest an issue that has been dragging unnecessarily for years.

What people of both sides have failed to place on the discussion table is the environmental impact resulting from methodologies used for fishing in particular by Tamil Nadu fishermen. Bottom trawling is what resulted in India losing its fish as well as ruining its coastal maritime bed. These same fishermen were using bottom trawlers around Katchchcetivu that would have if not addressed in time resulted in Sri Lanka’s maritime bed falling to ruin as well. With fish on both sides unable to grow what would that mean for the fishermen – no livelihood and that would lead to greater troubles for each government.

It is on this ground in particular that Mr. Modi’s clear directive through the Central Government of India has to be applauded.

With the world and Sri Lanka keeping a watchful eye on Modi’s leadership style and leadership both internally and externally especially with nations like Sri Lanka, where Congress has ruined and fostered enmity, we sincerely hope that Modi would always do what is right and in the interest of Asia and Asian politics while also hoping that Sri Lanka’s leaders also follow the same line of straightforward leadership too.

Though digressing from the subject and for the benefit of readers it is also good to point out some of Modi’s noteworthy traits. When anyone does good it is only right that we applaud these gestures just as we point out the wrongs. Leaders doomed as those who do not take advice or take advice from the wrong set of people who give wrong advice.

Modi’s directives to MPs included :

“Be regular, speak well, stop touching feet”

“do your homework” – study the subject under MPs purview

“make use of social media’ – The White House has been unable to compete with Modi’s twitter

“Spread good governance”

“MPs given directive to not speak to media out of turn”

“BJP will now allow dynasty politics” – in a bid to dismantle family politics, Modi has asked MP to remove his father from post given. No family members are to be appointed as personal staff.

“MPs must concentrate on work not blamegame”

“MPs asked not to voice their differences in public and function as a family” – To be a Member of Parliament is an important thing and one must look at it seriously. Remember, people are observing your performance not only in the House but even outside.

Modi asked party MPs to develop a sense of mission towards their duties and asked them to study in order to have deeper understanding of various subjects.

Raise issues of your own area or constituency with the media; do not act as a spokesperson of the party.

“Hindi to be given rightful place in India” Modi declared that all official documents must be written in Hindi

If there is a paradigm shift in India’s leadership it must be matched by the same qualities among SAARC leaders.

– by Shenali D Waduge