Being an Indian, writing so hurts, but given the state of affairs, words find no other alternative, even remote, in trying to see any ‘positive’!
India, India, the socialist and secular state, that was envisioned to be a sovereign republic of global presence, has come to be known as a spineless state in the global geopolitics.
Given the historical credence that the country has had, it was a tough task (becoming spineless) and the Constitution framers would never have thought of it after the heavy price paid for the Independence.
But the post-Independence politics has made it so easier that even small nations like Sri Lanka or Nepal or Myanmar or even Maldives dare us and keep on making audacious breaches and belligerent acts.
In fact, India, the world’s fourth largest economy and an emerging superpower, (? – as said somewhere), has no effective (or no influence at all) on its neighbours. Pakistan is a sworn enemy. Don’t think of it. China is like Pakistan, will do all to harm the Indian interests. Our condition in Afghanistan is dependent on how the US wants us to be there. Our meekness and indecisiveness has allowed China to make significant inroads and interference in Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Nepal, giving nightmares to India’s Defence apparatus. Soldiers from Bangladesh brutally murder our soldiers and we, as a country, cannot even protest effectively. Bhutan doesn’t matter on the global geopolitical scale.
So, the Italian betrayal in the Italian marines return issue should not be seen as a surprise event.
Given the diplomatic fiascos and foreign policy humiliations like Musharraf’s Agra visit and the failed summit or Manmohan Singh’s empty bravado at Sharm-el-Sheikh or Jawahar Lal Nehru’s refusal of the UNSC offer to India in 1954 because China’s status was not clear then, India, as a sovereign country, has had a history of such misfires.
The Italian Marines affair is just yet another one in the long list. And nothing is going to happen except the verbal deliveries, and that, too, would be to placate the internal outrage in the country. Yes, but the country needs a different approach. Indians need India to take a tough stand in this case and every other such case.
Italy learnt its lessons soon, it looks here. They let the marines return when they had gone for the Christmas vacation as they might be testing the waters then. The law of the land (India in this case) should not allow this and I think it does not allow a prisoner or undertrial to let out of prison to celebrate a festival. But the largesse of the Indian government and the judicial system allowed this outrageous precedent, thinking more about the killers who killed the two Indians and not about the Indians who were killed.
When the Italians back home saw such a spineless act by the Indians, they would have thought why not get the full out of it. After all, the issue of Italian marines’ trial in India did figure highly as an issue in the Italian politics. And lo, the Indian government soon offered them this opportunity when its judicial system fell for it. It, happily, in its profound wisdom of maintaining international camaraderie, let the undertrial Italians travel back home in Italy to caste vote in the Italian general elections. And that was it.
The Italians grabbed the opportunity. They blocked the marines from returning questioning India’s legal sanctity in the case. They have smoothly and ‘friendly’ backstabbed the Indian camaraderie slapping the Indian government and the judicial system directly in the face.
But, it is foolhardy to expect that the Indian government is going to learn any lessons from it. The initial vagueness in responses of the prime minister and the external affairs minister tells it. In fact, the way Indian government has responded on the fiasco, deserves a separate call.
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/