Showing posts with label Indian Fisherman. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Indian Fisherman. Show all posts

Sunday, April 29, 2012

GuestSpeak: An Italian Job

‘Enrique Lexie’ is a name that we are very familiar with, the Italian oil tanker whose marines shot a couple of Indian fisherman. The fate of the marines who are currently in  prison in Kerala are not one that is to be worried about, they are being treated well by our ‘foreign’ obsessed police force and the judicial verdict taken care by our money driven advocates and prosecution.

The recent high court comment was worth notice; it opened its sentence with a precise remark. “Money made them forget everything” pointed out the court in the wake of dismissal of charges by the accuser after getting a very fat check. The high court is absolutely in the right in demanding a large sum from them for making a mockery of the Indian Judicial system and wasting its time. I would say it could have considered a few divorce petitions in this time and it could have been of a greater worth than this
pointless exercise.

For a recap, this is the unfolding of the drama in a nutshell. On the 2nd of March, Italian Marines placed abroad the Italian oil tanker “Enrique Lexie” shot at an Indian fishing boat killing two of the fishermen hailing from Kerala in India. The state government of Kerala was swift, the made the ship anchor of coast and arrested the two Italian marines responsible. The incident attracted international fame or at-least the attention of Italy, Italy was quick in response sending in their Minister and ambassador to India to handle the situation. But till a week ago it looked as if the perpetrators of this horrible crime would get the rightful punishment and justice would be served to families of the deceased.

But things took a downward turn when the SAC of India came out with a statement that baffled everyone, He said that the ship was outside the Indian Jurisdiction and India had no right what so ever to try the ones who killed two Indians in cold blood. This reckless single statement literally nullified all progress the prosecution has made in the case that already by reached the Supreme Court. The case still persisted due to the will of some of the parties involved But Italy was smart enough. They offered the families an offer they could not refuse, a cheque of Rupees 1 crore each, something that could set them
for life and just as we know it they accepted. I don’t know whether I could blame them? Rupees 1 crore is a large sum especially for a fisherman and his family.

The Italians did a real good job. The fact remains that the Italian marines are going to walk away as free as they ever have been, but the question poses a greater question before us, Does as the rest of the world say both in private and public that, Does Indian’s really have a price tag?

Written for 'Hold the Thought, Get the Point' by our guest blogger Rupertt Wind.
Find more information about him at Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter and Blogger

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An earlier post on the Enrica Lexie


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Pirates of Malabar [52/365]

Kollam, a sleepy town in the southern State of Kerala, is a town where her people are street smart yet naive. Like any other district in Kerala her people wouldn't mind traveling 5 hours a days if that means working in a dead end government job with lots of 'benefits'. A town where you can still live a fantastic life with Rs 5000 (approx $100).
I've seen this sleepy fishing hamlet metamorphose into a town and then a city while struggling to retain it's roots.
While Kollam has managed to gain notoriety for a lot a reasons in the past couple of years, the morning of 15th february was going to bring the limelight back to herself.

Unnatural death sells news. Always.
In this case, we have an Italian super-tanker passing through international waters mistaking a motorized fishing boat and its unarmed crew to be armed pirates, firing and killing two fishermen (Read the headline-making news here). 
While we can safely predict that this will soon become a Malayalam super hit movie in a few years, possibly starring aging Mollywood's Arnold Schwarzenegger - Suresh Gopi, we need to sit back, lay down that newspaper, close our eyes and think.

We have a weakened Italy, that has been battered, bruised and begging for Euros fighting India on technicalities.
Ofcourse, India is no saint herself but most Indians are too stiff lipped to admit that we need to be graceful in dealing with these killer Marines.
But again, that's not the point either.
I am amused at how swift the government, the judiciary and the executive has been in apprehending and bringing the visibly disturbed killers to justice. While we ignore the pleas and the suffering of the millions who are either killed by civic apathy, prosecuted by archaic rules, or those who are simply homeless because the government is too big an entity to bother about every single individual, I wonder why all the haste with this incident.
Surely, the Italians have erred greatly and are repentant for what can be termed as a hit and run, but in an uncanny way, the Indians are enjoying their role of being morally correct.

While the Indians can argue about their right to prosecute and rightly so, I fail to see how any of this will be good for us in the global theater of diplomacy. Prosecuting the hapless Italians could forever be the speck in the diplomatic eye of both the nations. Ofcourse, Kerala has lost two of her most talented tuna fishermen (pun intended) but don't we have enough Malayalis working as slaves in the Middle East to care about? I've seen and heard of thousands of Keralites who sell all their belongings, savings and everything in between just so that they can go to the Gulf and work as bonded laborers. Nearly all of these get to visit their homes only every five years, that is if they are not already imprisoned and still have their passports with them. But ofcourse, our great big benefactor - the motherland of India - does not need to know how her slaves live as long as the billions come rolling in.

So what really matters is money. Lots of them.
While the two fishermen lost their life for the culinary delight of their countrymen, their families have wisely decided to milk the cow while it's still standing. Each of the victim's families have filed a petition seeking damages of about Rs 1 crore (About $200,000)!
Those fishermen were worth more dead than alive
Couple of questions came to my mind:
I wonder who gave the families the idea of asking for 1 crore? How did they calculate the maturity amount so accurately?
I wonder how many ways that money is going to be split, if they get so lucky as to get it.
Does it really take Rs 1 crore to raise a child? I am pretty sure I didn't cost a crore to be raised.
And finally, I wonder if I will be worth that much when I am dead.

While the two governments and the Catholics are still squabbling over the Oopsie, I am quite sure the money is already getting spend.
Ka Ching!

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