In continuation to my previous post on the Italian marine saga, it turns out that since then, the marines have returned to India where they will now face trial in Delhi at the Supreme Court, if my memory serves me right. It turns out that diplomacy won the day eventually. One can only wonder about the kind of communication that would have taken place between the Indian and Italian governments to have them return the marines to India to face trial. It does appear that the Italians extracted their pound of flesh in the bargain given that the marines will be tried in a different court, they having been set for trial in the Kerala High Court earlier.
Ini the aftermath of the return of the marines, the Italian Foreign Minister has resigned and the Italian Prime Minister has commented on the likelihood of Italy being “stranded diplomatically” by all other nations. That sounds like the right thing to have happened. It is understandable in tales such as Aesop’s fables or in the tales of the Panchatantra where one would read about King’s holding each other ransom and reneging on a spoken word. In those stories, such situations would invariably end on a battlefield with righteousness winning the day. In the modern world, the Italian Government has overcome its few days of madness and good sense has prevailed.
Leaders of nations need to understand that their actions are indicative of the culture of the nation that they represent. Once you are in a position of strength and repute, as a Prime Minister and/ or the Foreign Minister of a country, you are no longer only responsible for the well being of your own nation. It is the leader’s responsibility to look ahead and think strategically and act accordingly. While public opinion counts for a whole lot in a democracy, the larger public can not be held accountable for the actions that are unbecoming of a nation. The leader takes the final call on his actions and internal policies aside, it is eventually he/ she who is responsible and accountable for the status of the country he/ she represents in the international community. While the internal policies and growth play an important role in the perception of the nation’s standing amongst other countries of the world, the strategy, the connections and the good faith developed by the leaders goes a long way in setting the trend for future relations and the well being of the country. Parallels are easily drawn in every corporate, town or community settings. Everywhere, the internal squabbles aside, when the leader works on improving relations across other communities or organizations, his/ her own following improves and his org gains well deserved and due respect.