Recently the Italians cocked a snook at the Indian government by refusing to send back the Italian Marines who are accused of murdering two Indian fishermen in the Indian Ocean. These Marines have already had a very easy go. First they were allowed to attend Christmas at their native Italian places, and then they were allowed to go back to their country to cast votes. It is also rumored that the families of the murdered fisherman have been given Rs. 1 crore each to bury the hatchet and let the Marines go.
Call it political compulsions or whatever, the case has attained national, and now international highlight. On top of that, the recent stunt pulled by the Italian government even got the European Union involved. Anyway, this is not the point.
According to the grapevine on Twitter and other social networking websites, the escape of the Italian Marines was planned in full connivance of the Indian government that too has its own Italian connections. The plan was, on one pretext or another, the Marines would be allowed to leave the country, and in protest, the government would expel the Italian ambassador under whose guarantee the Marines had been allowed to go. Under a seemingly well thought of plan, the Marines were first allowed to leave fully according to the Indian law, and then later on the Italian government sent a note varbale that the two will not be coming back as the Indian courts had no jurisdiction over the case. Not even in their dreams they had thought about the juggernaut called Subramanian Swamy.
Contrary to what the Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshied is saying – that it was the diplomatic efforts that changed Italy’s posturing – it was Subramanian Swamy who swiftly got into action and requested the Supreme Court to stop the Italian ambassador from leaving the country under any situation. All the airports in the country were instructed to look out for the Italian ambassador Daniele Mancini, who had given the assurance that the Marines would be back on time. So it was the arm-twisting that actually worked. Unless the Marines were sent back, the Italian ambassador could not leave the country, and since the press was (yes, our system is such that, a semblance of press still exists) closely following the case, unlike the infamous Mr. Q, the Indian government couldn’t felicitate his escape.
It was not Sonia Gandhi’s “tough stand”. It was not MMS’s “unacceptable” filibustering. It was the quick action by Mr. Swamy who forced the Italian government to send the Marines back.