A Spaghetti Eastern that makes you say ‘Basta!’


The blazing row between India and Italy over the latter’s refusal to send back the two marines accused of killing two fishermen is proof, if proof were needed, that in the globalised world, the political interests of the States are beginning to have a say in the manner in which national diplomacy is framed.

If it is Kerala in this episode, it is Tamil Nadu vis-a-vis Sri Lanka on the issue of Tamils or Russia in the case of the Koodankulam nuclear plant. Orissa has draw India into a diplomatic kerfuffle with South Korea over Posco, while West Bengal is drawing the contours of ties with Bangladesh on the issue of Teesta waters, and so on.

In Italy’s case, of course, the matter gets all the more complicated given that country’s deep and subliminal link with India. Two countries joined at the hip in its fractious coalition politics, the corruption of its leaders, its food, Ottavio Quattrocchi, Agusta Westland choppers and of course, Sonia Gandhi.


The Italian marines’ issue as seen by Talk, the Bangalore weekly edited by S.R. Ramakrishna. Illustrations by Satish Acharya.

External reading: Swapan Dasgupta on l’affaire Italia

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10 Responses to “A Spaghetti Eastern that makes you say ‘Basta!’”

  1. Deepak Says:

    As you say at the end, and Sonia Gandhi!!! Naturally the law ministry, foreign ministry and others will bend over backward to favour the maikewalas of Madam. A spineless govt. gets the treatment it deserves. They are now in a terrible situation, if they don’t arrest the Ambassador the opposition and SC will tear them up; if they arrest him it will violate Vienna convention and it will create sever problems for our diplomats in future. But this Govt. deserves ths mess, they only created it, thanks for their phoren leader.

  2. Sanjeeva Says:

    PVN’s famous quote: “The Law will take its oooooown course, that is – nothing is going to happen.

  3. Gokulam 3rd Stage Says:

    What was the need for the courts to give these marines special treatment and send them home for Christmas and elections? Is that a privilege given to other Indian undertrials?

    Even if the Christmas vacation was accepted as somewhat of a (very very generous) humanitarian gesture, what about the elections? Did the Italian elections hinge on the votes of these two paapis? What about the hundreds of thousands of other Italians who didn’t vote at all?

    We are still in thrall of the white man, and our ruling class agrees with him that the rest of the country is unfit for “civilized” people.

  4. asha Says:

    It is a quid pro quo…Italy does not disclose “The Family” name in the Westland Helicopter scam and in return GOI lets the marines to walk free..We need not blame Italy in this fiasco..they are looking out for their marines…it was upto GOI to not let these people go for Xmas and then for voting..How may indian criminals are accorded this facility of going out to attend Deepavali and voting when they are in jail? Justice Altamas Kabir should be arrested and questioned as to whose instructions he was following when he allowed them to walk free. Also the Solicitor General who did not make a strong enough case to have the marines to a vote by mail should be arrested and tried.

  5. Doddi Buddi Says:

    A nice headline and a brilliant cartoon strip! Kapil Sibal any one?:))

  6. Doddi Buddi Says:


    Paraphrasing Dickens, “Law is an ‘Altimate Ass” in India!

  7. Faldo Says:

    Allowing the marines go home for their Christmas holidays should have raised eyebrows. After all, even Raja, Kanimozhi or Kalmadi did not get that privilege and they had to move heaven and earth to get their bail plea accepted.
    However, letting the marines leave the country again within such a short span should have certainly raised red flags. But they were given that chance which they readily accepted. Now everyone seems to be blaming everyone else. The authorities would have done well to remember that prevention is better than cure.

    @DB – Nice play on words. Dickens would have been hard put to find a suitable creature to describe the law in this case. He might not have wanted to insult the beast of burden.

  8. Pulikeshi the Last Says:

    Quatttrochi, the helicopter scandal, the marines. Why has Italy become such a major player in our minor lives as Indians?

    Oh, yes, our former minister for external affairs read a speech in Portuguese at the UN.

  9. AdithyaHK Says:

    Former EA minister reading a wrong speech

    Current EA minister rolling out red(green) carpet to Pak PM right after the beheading of soldiers and terror attacks.

    the former was an octogenarian mistake but the latter is inglorious.

  10. Pulikeshi the Last Says:

    SMK wouldn’t like to be called an octogenarian. That is the reason for the wig. A peta would be more becoming perhaps.

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