I've spent the last week explaining how defying the Law of Nations, re. diplomatic immunity, highlighted the idiocy of the Indian Supreme Court's rampant judicial activism and endangered National Securiy, while shrilly giving tongue to the oft voiced lament that this activism had only arisen in the context of the spinelessness, rent-seeking avarice, and/or senile ataraxia of the present Administration.
Boy, was I wrong. Fuck, do I feel stupid.
Italy's humiliating volte face in returning its murder-charge Marines to India is an unprecedented and paradigm shifting event in the annals of International Diplomacy.
But what does it import?
There are two possible, perhaps complementary rather than competing, explanations-
1) India is way more powerful than might appear. The soon to be concluded Indian Free Trade Agreement with Europe is of far greater strategic value to the latter- but this means India can be tougher w.r.t tilting the interpretation of Intellectual Property Rights in favour of the Developing rather than the Developed World. Three or four years ago, Italy defied America- re. export of sensitive technology- by persisting with its tie-up with India for Satellite launching. Perhaps, Europe sees India as a long-term and equal partner in Knowledge based Industries and is prepared to face American wrath precisely so as to secure a degree of autonomy from the Global Hegemon. The fact that the issue on which the Italians crumbled had to do with the Navy suggests that India's international standing is tied up with its proper development of Naval force projection.
2) Italy and India are friends. True Friendship can only develop on the basis of Truth and Justice. Friendships are long-term, open-ended, and non zero-sum with positive externalities for third parties. If I collude with you to help you get away with injuring a weaker third party- what I've done is show loyalty, not to a True Friend, but a mere Tactical Ally. A true friend has to have the guts to say- what you've done is morally wrong. I'll go halves with you on making restitution and expiating the crime. What I won't do is connive to cover things up such that, short-term, you get away with it. This is because, in the Moral Universe where words like Friendship have meaning, actions have ethical consequences- they literally change your ethos- what you are to yourself and those that love you. Sure, I can help you cover up a crime. I'd do that for an enemy if it were expedient for me. But if you are my friend, I care about what you are to yourself. I want you to be a stand up guy, not a 'got away with a crime, goodfella' .
That's what's happened between Italy and India today. India could have said 'thanks for giving me an alibi by spitting in my soup. Now no one will suspect we're in this together' and Italy replies 'Yeah, but you owe me big time coz it's me wot looks bad' and India says 'what? I let you dip your beak on the helicopter deal; waddyawant? the submarines? BTW your li'l daughter is getting to look kinda cute. If there's grass on the filed- get my drift?'
That's not Friendship- it's Perversion.
Two Italian Marines, who could have gone running to the European Court of Human Rights, showed they were stand up guys by returning to India. Is the Govt. of Italy a similarly 'stand up guy'? What if Sonia Gandhi had given an interview to Italian TV on this topic? The ordinary Italians would have been given a chance to compare and contrast Sonia with their corrupt Berlusconis and egg-head Montis. Sonia is a woman who has behaved with old fashioned dignity and virtue all her life. Her husband was killed and she begged for clemency towards a woman- a poor dark skinned woman- who would otherwise been hanged from her neck till all life had departed from her scrawny, undernourished, body. Justice is not Revenge. Neither India not Italy are defined by the Mafias that operate within their body politic. Justice is Justice and is based on the Truth. Italy lied. The Supreme Court- not in very prolix, high falutin', judicial language but in succinct and emotionally overwrought demotic language which betrayed an understandable sense of hurt and disappointment- said 'our relationship with you is on the basis of Truth and Justice not Diplomacy and Immunity'. Two fishermen have been slain. Justice for them is more important than this so called 'Law of the Nations'. Why? Before there are Nations, there are Human Beings. Be Human! We constrain you and hold you prisoner to THAT!'
MY GRATUITOUS PURGATION OF CONTEMPT OF THE INDIAN SUPREME COURT
Yo, Supreme Court dudes- I fucking take my hat off to you- you fucking darker complexioned than even me, more underpaid than even me, more non-Queen's English speaking than even me, you supremely fucking Indian Supreme Court Judges of India, you- you saw that SECURING JUSTICE FOR two unlawfully slain fishermen, both belonging to 'minority' communities as defined by the Constitution of India, was MORE IMPORTANT than the National Security of India or the Noetic Swamp that is the Law of Nations.
Govt. of Italy agreed with you. The two Italian Marines agreed with you. Has Italy been humiliated? Has their soldiery been shown to be cowardly?
No. It is never a humiliation to do the right thing. Has India's prestige been enhanced? No. Because it is such a big country- though no country is big, only Courage is big & only Truth 'enbiggens'- THE PRESTIGE OF THE INDIAN STATE, by this, rather tends to DECLINE.
It seems the Indian Judiciary, Executive and Legislature- not to mention the masses- are no respecters of such artificial personages as States, Corporations or, indeed, mere 'Concrete Universals' such as, to-corrupt-command, mortal allegiances- but are content to consign their particular destinies to the Diktat of something Higher and Finer- viz. ineffable notions of Friendship, Truth & Justice.