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View: Why the Italians take India for granted

March 14, 2013 11:42 IST

One can say that the Italians are rogue, they belong to an irresponsible republic, but what about the great democracy and the Republic of India that shows shameful pusillanimity or connivance with the favoured foreigners as a pattern and not as an exception, asks Tarun Vijay.

This is perhaps first case of a so-called European country ruled by law getting involved brazenly in a law-breaking exercise befitting only the pirates and the Sicilian Mafiosi of Cosa Nostra.

The prime minister of Italy didn't blink even once when he declared that the accused Italian Marines would not return to India. Their ambassador didn't hesitate to bluff the Supreme Court and filed an affidavit that was based on premeditated lies or a conspiracy agreed upon between his government and a facilitator apparatus in South Block.

Having seen the Italian government refusing to behave in a diplomatic and civilised manner why can't we revoke the diplomatic immunity available to the Italian ambassador and have him arrested and tried for fraudulently filing a false affidavit in our Supreme Court and shielding the murder-accused Marines?

Diplomatic immunity is for diplomats and not for perpetrators of fraud and protectors of criminals.

Every one knows that the Italians can vote from abroad, there is a specific law regarding this (external link)

Why did the Government of India not use this information to stop the Italians from going back home?

Do they grant this facility to any Indian citizen to go to her/his village for Eid, or Diwali or to exercise voting rights?

Malegaon blast accused Sadhvi Pragya Singh was not allowed even to take part in the last rites for her father. Why were the Italians so special that they were allowed to go to Italy during Christmas and then on a four-week holiday just to vote?

Who can believe that a State would try its best to put under wraps the murder of its citizens and in the name of fake diplomacy and bilateral relations, facilitate the escape of the killers. But this has happened under the rule of those who have chosen to be insensitive towards their own people.

One can say the Italians are rogues, they belong to an irresponsible republic where the rule of law has been replaced by the crime book of hijackers and bail-jumpers, but what about the great democracy and the Republic of India that has shown shameful pusillanimity or connivance with favoured foreigners as a pattern and not as an exception?

Remember Warren Anderson, the accused in the Bhopal gas tragedy and the chief of Union Carbide? Remember how he was facilitated by the rulers, how the big guns in Congress ruling circles, those who ruled India then and were Constitutionally responsible to protect Indian citizens, helped the criminal flee from the country.

And then the invisible Italian Ottavio Quattrocchi. His deals, his friendship with the 'king's family ' and later how his accounts abroad were ordered to be de-frozen.

How the chopper deal was inked and the Italian government simply refused to help us or even share anything on it, as if we do not matter at all to it. And then the disgraced Italian Silvio Berlusconi saying that a bribe is a requirement to do business in India. So forget about the chopper deal corruption.

Any reason why such an ingloriously placed land of slippery charades can afford to be so rude and arrogant to the world's largest democracy and the fast emerging superpower?

Are they embarrassed that one of them has become the most powerful person in India or are they emboldened by this fact and hence the show of 'who cares for you' attitude?

The general impression one gets in common people's market chats is that the government will show some cosmetic hardened posture and the politicians too will make some loud noises about it. Both these days are driven by media headlines.

The next week or the next month, some other more serious, more emergent and more attractive issue to the media issue will come up and there will be the same 'My Italy, good friend ' chorus in the name of a positive foreign policy.

The families of the two slain fishermen will be left to their fate.

This can happen in India alone.

Dora, the wife of one of the fishermen murdered by the Italians, said: 'This is nothing but a conspiracy at the highest level and the Indian government should see that they bring back the two Marines to stand trial in the case. This should not happen to any other family, I have not received justice.'

The Italian criminals said they are happy to be home and back at work. They knew nothing will happen to them and they will be free. Imagine if an Indian was under trial in Italy, what they would have done.

The Europeans and the arrogant West use India to dictate terms, get away with crimes and use our wealth and political connections to fill their coffers.

The looters of Indian money can have no sympathy or respect for the laws of a land that doesn't appear an equal on their radar and when the leaders of that land are too happy to yield.

Tarun Vijay is a member of the Rajya Sabha; member, Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs, national spokesperson for the Bharatiya Janata Party and honorary director, Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation, New Delhi.

Tarun Vijay