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Showing posts with label Enrica Lexie. Show all posts
Are the Italians ruling India now? That is what a growing number of Indians start to ask themselves even though there is no government in Rome. However two Italian marine commandos, whose life has been ruined, have reason to smile.
The amazingly plight of two smart Italian naval commandos, Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, whose freedom is in peril for doing their duty, has grown from a storm in a tea cup to become the hottest political furore and diplomatic stand off of recent times.
When they fired a few round of warning at an approaching boat, which they mistook for a pirate vessel, they thought they were doing a heroic job while earning a decent livelihood! Surely they would have defied orders even from the pope if they knew what they were getting in to!
They probably knew nothing of the little Indian state of Kerala, the only place still left in the world which believes in the ghost of communism, which turned the death of the two dead fishermen to a worthwhile cause to hammer the political opposition in power.
They certainly knew nothing of the Indian paranoia about all Italians. They had no clue how the fairy tale romance and marriage of an unfortunate Italian girl called Sonia to an even more unfortunate Gandhi scion has turned in to national Italian phobia.
They didn't know that the Somalian pirates, from who they were protecting their ship, don't count in India even if many Indians have been taken hostage or killed by the pirates.
That, it is nearly impossible to shoot to kill from a bobbing ship to accurately hit two fishermen on a bobbing boat and that the boat was listing towards the ship with a sleeping driver, defying warnings by the marines also didn't cut mustard with the Indian public.
So the Italian government had so far put up with the Indian claim of "wrongful" murder of its citizens in its territory and let the Indian police retain the two marines pending painfully long and inefficient judicial process of India.
Diplomatic and other conciliatory efforts had lead the Indian Supreme court to grant bail and permission for the two marines to leave the country for Christmas and more recently for voting in the Italian elections and celebrate Easter. So what has changed now and why the commotion and turmoil in India and the Indian parliament?
The obvious cause of the recent furore is the refusal of the Italian government to send the two marines, who are currently in Italy, back to India to face trial, raising a dispute as to India's right and demanding International mediation.
However or Machiavellian minds and probing observers there could be several plausible reasons behind the current development
What is election for Italy is election for India.
The ruling UPA bashing power of the shooting incident with an Italian connection, rampantly used by the Indian political opposition during the course of last year, and being ruthlessly used before the elections due in a year, is pretty evident.
However, that, there was political mileage to be made also in Italy was not clear until the high profile Italian rescue kicked in before Christmas, eventually securing bail and homecoming for the two marines.
The pomp and circumstances with which the marines were given a heroic welcome back home, turning a relatively minor incident to a major national issue, whipped up enormous national pride. The national heroic welcome which reflected the sentiments in India defied any signs of electoral campaign, but was part of one none the same. In the confusing political landscape of Italy, it is not clear who was the major beneficiary.
It looks like the same political forces are having a second go at the "national pride" commodity by whipping up and creating a stand off with India, posturing a protective role for the benefit of Italians. The timing, before another round of elections, is what gives the clue, as the Italians could have refused to send the marines back when they visited in December, if it were for the reasons now being bandied.
Augusta Westland Helicopter Scam
A raging storm of a major scam, which most likely have political reasons and justifications to surface just before the Italian elections, unfortunately and most inappropriately is also most ill timed for the ruling UPA of India, due to face elections soon.
A major diplomatic stand off, blocking revelations and communications can seriously benefit the two governments. It is mere commonsense to attribute reasons to a foreign country when you can't give explanations and justifications, at least until the elections are over.
Besides diplomatic stand offs, when it creates uproar in the parliament prompting stern warnings from the country's prime minister and creating a huge bump in the media and social web, have an amazing capacity to drown the fall out from major scams in both countries.
Hot potato for the Indian Government.
However, the most ludicrous explanation going the rounds on the social web, yet so plausible is the Indian dilemma of having to make a judgement in the case. Knowledge and cogniscence of the unreasonableness of the case makes the judiciary and the government look ridiculous before an international audience to give a guilty verdict.
On the other hand, the political fall out if the marines go un punished, especially in an election year could be costly in the best of times.
In an year, when the Italian phobia is whipped up by new scams with in India and in Italy, resurrecting old ones like the Bofors, settlement of something like the shooting incident, even by absconding of the culprits can be a blessing in disguise. Chances are both governments have decided to bite the bullet and forget.
In reality, it could be all of these which has put a smile on the faces of the hapless young men, whose life is being ruined by powers they have little control of.
It was a question of when and not if the name of Sonia Gandhi, the president of the Indian National Congress party and one of the most powerful and influential women in the world as per the Forbes and Time Magazine lists, will be dragged in the messy affair of Enrica Lexie.
The inevitable has now happened and everyone is delivering their hidden punches saved since the Italian saga unfurled on the Indian shores, at the unfortunate widow of Rajiv Gandhi.
If Enrica Lexie was flying another flag, chances are it would have been released and home and dry long time back. The problem is it is Italian like Sonia Gandhi was before she became an Indian citizen.
From the beginning, it was pretty clear that if Enrica Lexie, lured and forced to remain anchored at the Idyllic Port of Kochi in Kerala, a southern state of India, it was not the weight of its huge iron anchor but the immense political weight of the Indian political leader Sonia Gandhi was to be blamed. It was clear that any attempt favouring the Italians would be seen as orchestrated by the Italian born Sonia.
The reason is nothing but the Italian origin of Mrs Gandhi, and the paranoiac mindset of the Indian political system, still suffering from a sort of inferiority complex despite successfully test firing an inter continental ballistic missile.
The truth is, if the tragedy of the Titanic were to happen near the Kerala coast, the narrow minded politicians of Kerala, especially its ridiculous communists, would have made some political capital out of it before even thinking about sending a boat for the rescue. Since the Titanic was a British ship, there wouldn't have been any rescue attempt at all.
Things have hardly changed in a hundred years. They still must get some political mileage if they can, out of even the tragic death of the two poor fishermen who died in the incidence.
A lawyer representing the central government, under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi has argued, perhaps rightly, in the supreme court that the action of the State of Kerala in the whole affair was not legal as per international law.
This was sufficient for the politicians of Kerala to cry foul and raise accusations of an Italian conspiracy by the Italian born Sonia to favour Italy, something they were waiting to jump at all along.
It was clear that for the state government of Kerala headed by Sonia's congress party and facing a crucial by election, any attempt for a reasonable settlement would have lead to same accusations, which explain the stiff handling 'as per law of the land'.
You can't blame kerala's politicians not to know or understand the intricacies of International law. After all, international law doesn't apply to Kerala, deemed "God's Own Country" because no one is ever taught.
In any case, for many of Kerala's political leaders the closest to education was the time they spent under the roofs of its schools only to escape the occasional torrential rain. You really can't blame them for what they don't understand.
If anything, it is the captain of Enrica Lexie to be blamed for taking his ship in to this disaster zone. It is clear that he has no interest in History or current affairs and politics.
If he had any notion of the narrow political mentality and complex religious influence in the lives of the people of the beautiful state of Kerala, he would have been happy to welcome the Somali pirates he was trying to avoid, abord his ship instead of taking his ship anywhere near it.
At least the Italians now know what is meant by the English saying "between the devil and the deep sea".
Don’t get this wrong. Enrica Lexie sounds like the latest juicy revelation in the saga of former Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi, but it is merely the name of an Italian vessel embroiled in a legal and diplomatic tussle between
Initially catching little attention of the western media, the row is now assuming some serious European dimension, with Italian soldiers demonstrating in
against the detention and legal action against two of their colleagues.
At the heart of the stand off and ‘argy bargy’ is the death of two unarmed Indian fishermen who were apparently shot down by the two Italian soldiers who were on a anti piracy mission on board the ship.
The arguments and notoriously slow legal proceeding in
has taken a toll, with the two soldiers locked up in an Indian prison and the
ship detained in the Indian
since several weeks. port of Kochi
What has been most surprising is the appalling way both countries have handled the sensitive issue, each one not without its own hidden compulsions, and public stance each country was obliged to take.
For the new Italian Prime minister Mario Monti , there were more compelling matters to attend with the EU economic crisis and the economy of Italy itself on the verge of a crisis situation like that of Greece. However the way the Italians have come out with out convincing and straight forward explanation of what happened has not helped the matter and enabled the Indians to react helpfully to solve the issue.
Besides, the Italian authorities have also failed to grasp the political compulsions under which the Indian government had to act in this matter.
For a start, Kerala, which is the last place people still believe in communism has a party which lost the recent election with slim margin and has an interest to politicise every issue in order to win a crucial local election held in March. The ruling congress party with slim majority and allegations of corruption with the central government which they lead couldn’t afford to let the legal path take its own course.
That Kerala has a sizable Catholic population didn’t help, with Kerala Bishops facing accusation of taking up for a Catholic foreign country.
Although, never mentioned publicly, the most sensitive reason for the stiff Indian stance is nothing but the Italian origin of Sonia Gandhi, presiding over the Congress Party, currently ruling
and several states including Kerala as the major coalition partner.
In the current upheaval based on huge ‘perceived’ corruption with the central government, any effort to resolve the issue quickly would be perceived as an “order” from Sonia to favour
against the interests of India.
This gives little hope of the Italian authorities finding a quick resolution of the issue. However the fact that the by election is now over without serious damage to the image of the congress party and with a convincing win give everyone some elbow room. There is also the need to solve the issue before another by election now scheduled for May.
What can be counted upon is the good humour and awareness of political sensitivities of the enlightened judiciary of the ‘God’s own country’ who is adept at playing the judicial game to everyone’s satisfaction.
Article first published as Why Enrica Lexie Is Getting Messier Like Italian Berlusconi Affair By The Day? on Technorati.
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