Former editor-in-chief of ‘The Hindu,’ Narasimhan Ram said that the Chinese investments and assistance to Sri Lanka is not of a concern to India. “The development of close economic relations between Sri Lanka and China is not at all a concern for New Delhi as India’s position is that development and stability in the neighbourhood is good for the entire region,” he said.
Speaking on the forthcoming Indian elections at the International Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES) in Colombo, Ram, who is Chairman of The Hindu, said that he admired how Sri Lanka strategically balanced its relations with the immediate neighbor India and once removed neighboring giant China.
Referring to the ‘Modi Wave’ in the Indian Hindi belt, he said the opposition alliance headed by the Bharatiya Janta Party is likely to be the single largest party with approximately 220 seats in the 543-seat Lok Sabha. The Congress Party, of which the campaign is headed by Rahul Gandhi may not be able to get even 100 seats, but Gandhi could be satisfied with opposition leadership in the House and mark time for returning to power in the next election.
Ram did not foresee any major change in the Indian policy towards Sri Lanka under a BJP government. Replying to a question on Hindutwa card played by the BJP, he said that the kind of majoritarian politics practiced by the BJP is dangerous. However, he expressed the hope that the BJP acted as a secular party when in power pointing to the Vajpayee government as an example. He also said that secularism was very well entrenched in the major Tamil Nadu political parties, one or some of which may align with the BJP after the polls.