Escape of the Italian Marines

Italian Government Reneged On Contractual Obligation

Italian Government Reneged On Contractual Obligation
Italian Government Reneged On Contractual Obligation | Source

Congress Will Pay a Heavy Price during Elections

Contrasting Views

The two Italian marines Salvatore Girone and Massimilliano Latorre have coolly escaped from India. The two birds have flown from the cage and are unlikely to return to their captivity again. India has lost a valid case against them. The two marines shot dead two Kerala fishermen last year. India claims the incident happened in Indian waters around 20 nautical miles from the Kerala coast. Italy claims it happened in international waters. India insists that the two marines should be tried and punished as per Indian law. Italy insists that they should be prosecuted as per international law.

Italian Government Reneged On Contractual Obligation

India allowed the marines to go to Italy to celebrate Christmas. They went and returned to honour their commitments. Again they were permitted by the Supreme Court to visit Italy for voting and come back to India for facing the trial after spending a month time in Italy. The allowed time expires on March 22nd. But in the meantime, the new Italian government has announced that the two marines will never return to India. This is a breach of honour on the part of the Italian government.

Sending the Ambassador Home Will Achieve Nothing

What action India can take against Italy under the circumstances? One step that is suggested is to send back the Italian ambassador to India Daniele Mancini after declaring him a persona non grata. But this protest will have no impact on the case and Italy will be under no pressure to change its decision and send back the marines to India for trial.

Punch Where It Hurts the Most

Another better option will be to scale down trade relations between the two nations. India is a growing economy. Italy is facing economic trouble and credit rating agencies have downsized Italian rating. In fact the debt of Italy is much more than the combined debt of Spain, Portugal and Ireland in the European Union. By denying lucrative contracts and deals to Italy, India can hit below the belt and punch where it hurts the most. There are several Italian companies like Olivetti that are doing good business because of their Indian connections. If business is denied to these firms, Italian government will automatically change its stand and hand over the marines to India for trial.

Congress Will Pay a Heavy Price during Elections

But for this to happen, the government of India should be willing to act. That is unlikely to take place given the Italian connections of the Congress Party leader and her family. In fact the Congress leader could have acted deliberately to make the escape for the marines possible. But the principal opposition party BJP is going to make this as an electoral issue and embarrass the government and the ruling Congress Party. Bofors scandal unseated Rajiv Gandhi from power in 1989. The Italian marines scandal may well be exploited by the opposition. This may prove detrimental to the ruling party in an election year. Sentiments are running high among the public. In Kerala the Congress will be paying a heavy price in the parliamentary elections and the gainer will be CPI (M). In other parts of India, BJP stands to reap the fruit.

Comments 4 comments

Vaidy 3 years ago

None of these issues would affect congress. There are much bigger issues. But the BJP itself is in crossroads and in no position to exploit it.

In chess sometimes, a player makes a mistake. But if the opposition is weak they would not be able to exploit it. That is what is the issue today. There is no formidable opposition.

ramkimeena profile image

ramkimeena 3 years ago from India Author

In 1989 also a similar thing existed. By no stretch of imagination can one call V P Singh or Devi Lal as formidable leaders who could challenge the suzeranity and supremacy of Rajiv Gandhi then. But it happened nevertheless!

Vaidy 3 years ago

In fact this could be a drama of congress. These guys might be returned to India after some fight and probably just before the elections and Congress could just exploit the same and win a name.

Today the political goons would play any Natak to hoodwink the voters. The actual point of the article should be this. How is that the supreme court of India allows someone to go home for Christmas or for voting? Can criminals be given such permission? Are the votes of two Italian murderers so important?

Will supreme court offer parole for voting or for celebrating Diwali to any of the offenders in Indian jails who have perpetrated much lesser crimes?

This is the most astonishing part of the case. And no one has raised any questions about it.

ramkimeena profile image

ramkimeena 3 years ago from India Author

I doubt the proposition that what is going on is a stage-managed drama. The marines are unlikely to be returned to India by Italian government because that will make the Italian government unpopular there. Remember the marines' issue was a big electoral issue in Italy that unseated the previous government from power.

As regards how the Supreme Court has allowed the marines to go home, everybody knows the reason. It is obvious that the judge would have pocketed sizeable money before permitting the marines to taste freedom. The same thing happened in 1984 when Anderson of Union Carbide was allowed to fly home after forcing him to cough up a big money for our netas.

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