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What happens to Krishna Doctrine?

The government finds itself on an awkward spot in the incident involving the killing of an Indian fisherman and causing injury to 3 other Indian fishermen by the United States Navy. It sheepishly asked the UAE government to look into the matter — although the US had already admitted the incident. 

This becomes a test case of the External Affairs Ministry’s steely resolve in the recent months to go to any extent to safeguard the welfare and security of Indian nationals — popularly known as the ‘Krishna Doctrine’. 
Already the government is adopting double standards. In a similar incident involving Italian Navy personnel in February, MEA brusquely turned down Rome’s plea for a joint investigation and insisted on prosecuting the culprits (who were detained and are still in Kochi on bail). The Italian foreign minister came to Delhi pleading, Rome sought Vatican’s intervention, but MEA said ‘Nyet‘. 
Finally, according to the latest reports, the Italian government has been compelled to appeal to the Supreme Court. Yet, India has merely asked UAE to conduct an investigation rather than demand that the US should hand over the personnel involved in the criminal act. 
The incident seems to have taken place in the UAE territorial waters. MEA should have at least taken pre-emptive action and demanded that the UAE authorities detained the US vessel. (This is what we did to the Italian vessel, although it was in the international waters.) 
We can’t have one Krishna Doctrine for Italy (and Denmark) and another for the US. The US statement on the subject is perfunctory. The writing is there on the wall. Most certainly, the US vessel will sail away and that will be the last we heard of this matter. 
The US will never allow its military personnel to be tried in India. If there is any doubt, ask Afghan President Hamid Karzai. 
So, what do we do now? The decent thing will be to let the Italian navy personnel go home, too. 

Posted in Diplomacy, Military.

Tagged with , .

5 Responses

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  1. a z says

    India should demand at least to be treated as Pakistan. Hillary should say sorry or all routes to Afghanistan via Kashmir are shut and India should demand thousands of dollars in compensation for loss of life. Or not.

  2. Fort says

    There are many larger issues involved here. But, first, a corollary –
    During my college/school days I used to hear a nursery rhyme “This is the house that Jack Built.” This had

    grabbed my attention like few other rhymes/poems. Every subsequent line in this rhyme is longer, adding a

    new phrase but the line “this is the house that Jack built” always forms the end of each line.

    Similarly, India has to work out [will it, ever?] a system by which Indian workers/sailors/fishermen will not

    go out of this country in search of ‘better’ prospects. Least of all to sheikhdoms and other rattler regimes,

    who lure employees with several times the financial considerations that India can, owing to easy money

    earned by them, by overcharging desperate purchasers of oil.

    But how can such pinprick regimes be stopped from offering such lucrative returns, that attract our

    [poor/greedy] Indians ? When big nations such as India stop or significantly reduce their purchase of oil

    from such regimes. This will happen only when we can create assets that would require less and less of oil

    and also — so on and so forth – in the end, when we really S-T-R-I-V-E hard, everyone of us to live well

    within our means, instead of resorting to borrowing …

    As you see, the buck stops with us, our government, our people.
    Well, looking at the current crop of our politicians, law-enforcement, our ‘diversity,’ our people’s propensity

    to indulge in internecine affairs, etc. fiscal discipline amongst us all is located very very faaaaar away.

    Till such time, we will continue playing the “might is right” game with lower rung and we shall also be

    subjected to a similar “might is right” game by other and bigger players of similar games.

  3. Dr Ajay says

    I agree with ‘Informed’. Because the Indians are not in any position to really question the US, therefore, by MBK doctrine, we should be consistent being the meek and decently allow Italian marines to return home.
    The US incident and Italian incidence are qualitatively totally different, with entirely different political realities. I do not see any merit in MBK’s analysis.

  4. ashish sinha says

    Dear Author, the Italians would not have naively come to srrender had they known they wee in international waters. The Italian ship was ferried by coast guard and the coastuard does not have authority to demand someone to obey them in intl waters. Since all circustantial evidence point to Italian ship being in Indian waters, you will need to provide citational evidence to show that Italians were indeed in Int waters. This key piece is missing from your article. On which the dichotomy of Indian response to the two idential incident rests.

  5. Informed says

    really…? italians killed indians in indian waters, there is a clear jurisdiction. But this one is about americans killing an indian in UAE, we don’t have a jurisdiction. India cannot investigate the killings of all indians across the globe. Are you drunk?

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