There was never any real doubt that the endgame of the detention of the two Italian Marines who killed Indian fishermen on February 15 was going to be great fun. Broadly, the entire high drama was enacted to impress the Kerala voter during the Piravom bypoll on March 17. Now that the Congress-led alliance won, it’s time to kiss and make up with Rome.
But hats off to the sheer ingenuity of the endgame. In a nutshell, Italian government agreed to pay blood money to the families of the deceased fishermen and have approached the Supreme Court seeking an order for the release of their Marines in custody in Thiruvananthapuram, while our Central government has implicitly backed the Italian plea by informing the Supreme Court that the Kerala government exceeded its authority by seizing the Italian ship, which was in the high seas.
Bravo! Chums, we are all zombies. We are supposed to believe that all those gutsy moves by the Kerala government against the Italian Marines were impetuous actions by country bumpkins who didn’t know the ABC of international law. Whereas, Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy had been telling us he was closely consulting Delhi and on top of it, his actions were also resoundingly backed by Defence MInister A.K.Antony on several occasions in public statements.
The endgame is probably going to be like this: ‘Alas, Chandy being a local politician acted improperly, whereas the detention of the Italian Marines was actually improper, and, pray, what can the UPA government do but to let the due process of law take its course and allow Marines go back to their homeland?’ The Italians must be laughing. Not even in Sicily such things can happen.
Chandy, in sum, has been made the fall guy. This isn’t fair after he won Piravom with such panache. Already he is taking flak after the Congress High Command ordered him to appoint yet another Muslim League minister in his cabinet. Now he is being made to look rather foolish on this sordid Italian affair.
– April 20, 2012