So India has released Salvatore Girone and Massimiliano Latorre so that they can celebrate Christmas with their families in their home in Italy.
Girone and Latorre, two Italian marines, are accused of shooting dead two Indian fishermen close to the coasts in Kerala.
The two marines chartered a plane on Saturday to fly back to Italy.
Has India been bullied by Italy? Or is there some other reason?
According to Hindustan Times (December 21, 2013), ‘The Kerala High Court gave the verdict as the Centre took a lenient view on the issue that was threatening to sour ties with Italy.’
The court has said the marines have to return to India by January 10, 2013 so that the trial against them can proceed. The court has also asked Italian consul to deposit Rs six crore as surety.
What if the marines do not return? Italy has always wanted the marines to be tired in an international court and not in India. What if Italy now says that India’s judicial process is too slow or the conditions in Indian prisons are very bad and hence it is not sending the two marines to India? Rs six crore is a very small amount for a developed country like Italy to forego for its two citizens.
Now, supposing two Indian soldiers had shot dead, say two Americans or two Chinese or two Germans. Would the US, China or Germany have freed the accused Indians so that they could have celebrated Diwali or Holi with their families in India?
Why have the two Italians been treated in a special way? There are millions of Indians in jails, undergoing trials. Why not free all of them so that they can reunite with their families for festivals?
The Italian marines had shot dead the Indian fishermen on February 15, 2012. Then, the Centre has taken a strong stand against Italy and that was surprising. The reason soon became clear – by-elections were due in Kerala in a couple of constituencies.
I would not have been shocked if I had read that an Indian Air Force plane was taking the marines to their country.
So, the Kerala High Court gave the verdict as the Centre took a lenient view on the issue that was threatening to sour ties with Italy. Do we have very strong ties with Italy as far as our economy, military or education is concerned?
We Indians have a strong bond with Italy regarding only one thing. No, you got me wrong. I meant the Italian food – pizza and pasta, they have become very popular in India.
Hindustan Times on Friday also carried a picture of the two Italian marines.
Rather than soldiers, they look more like Hollywood actors – muscular chests and flat bellies, altogether lean. And going by their body language, they do not seem to be repentant even a bit. Their chins were up and chests puffed out.
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Rahul Gandhi, whenever he visits a place, tries to strike a chord with the people there. When he comes to Uttar Pradesh, he says, ‘UP is my ancestral home. My great grandfather, my grandfather, grandmother, my father represented the state in Parliament.....’
When he goes of Orissa, he says, ‘Orissa is special for me. This is the state where Indira ji gave her last speech.....’
On his visit to Kashmir some time back, he had said, ‘I can understand your problems because I am also a Kashmiri up to a great extent......’
Last night I had a dream in which I saw Rahul having a conversation with Girone and Latorre in private. He was telling them, ‘I can understand your plight. After all, I also have Italian blood in my veins……..’