ISSN: (Online) 2321 -4155
ISSN: (Print) 2320 -7000

MARITIME CHALLENGES AND GEOPOLITICS IN THE INDIAN OCEAN Ambesh Kumar Pandey*

ABSTRACT

 

Maritime trade has been the cheapest mode of trading throughout the human history and continues to be so. This makes the Sea Lanes of Communication (SLOCs) very critical for the world economy. The SLOCs are the channels for maritime trade, therefore very prominent and any hindrance to it can create a situation of energy crisis globally as it was seen during Yom-Kippur War (1973). The Indian Ocean being a connecting geography of several oil producing and exporting states is recently in several debate because of the ongoing instability around littoral states, mainly western states of Indian Ocean Region (IOR) like Somalia and Yemen. This research paper focuses on the SLOCs of Indian Ocean and their importance in the international system, and disruptive impacts caused by piracy and maritime terrorism. The excessive militarisation and competing interests of great powers have made it a Zone of Conflict that might someday result into a maritime war. Rising powers like India and China are very active, playing diplomatically to establish their influence for their long term goals. The efforts must be made to maintain this region as “Zone of Peace” which seems unlikely under new circumstances. Maximum security of SLOCs needs to be ensured

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