Adventurous stories of troubled waters have always been very attractive to the listeners. The story of Enrica Lexie and St. Antony is also one of such evergreen stories. It was 15th February, 2012 when The MV Enrica Lexie was travelling from Singapore to Egypt with a crew of 34 including 19 Indians and accompanied by six Italian navy marines. Freddie Louis, the Captain of St Antony claimed that his vessel was returning from its fishing expedition in the Laccadive Sea when men on board the Enrica Lexie began firing at them without provocation for approximately two minutes. As a result of this firing two Indian nationals Ajesh Binki and Valentine aboard the St Antony were killed. This incident created an air of confrontation, disbelief and enmity between India and the European Union and sparked a conflict of opinions over legal jurisdiction and functional immunity between the governments of India and Italy. On 6 April 2013, an Italian military report into the incident, dated 11 May 2012, was leaked. The document reported that, according to the Indian authorities, it was the St Antony that had been involved in the incident, but that bullets used in the incident were fired from rifles assigned to two other marines. Since after this leaked report things are getting more complex and complicated.
According to recent news published in different Indian newspapers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has planned to visit Brussels in the coming month of March 2016. He wants to restart summit-level negotiations with the European Union with an intention of ending four years of bitter battles that have scarred India’s relationship with its traditionally largest trading partner. ‘India and the 28-nation EU have not held their annual summit – a practice they began in 2000 – since 2012, when relations nosedived over differences on the killing of Indian fishermen by two Italian marines and sharp trade disputes,’ says the Hindu in an analysis. It is no doubt a very positive effort on the part of Mr. Modi that he is trying his best to bury the old hatchets acting upon the philosophy ‘Let by-gones be by-gones’ but his own people also expect from him to observe the same philosophy for his own countrymen too. There are so many confronting issues within his own country which need his prompt attention and timely action; the Quota system is also one of such issues. In the name of Quota system exploitation of minorities, of low-caste Hindus and even of some belonging to the higher castes is very commonly observed. This Quota system is termed as the Reservation System in India.
The Aljazeera reported on 22 February 2016 that thousands of soldiers have been deployed to Haryana state in northern India where protesters have been killed in riots. Jats – a traditionally rural community of farmers – are demanding more government jobs and places in state-run universities. They complain of discrimination because of India’s caste system. The DW News says in a recent report that India currently has thousands of castes, they are all categorized into four different groups. Three of these four – namely the scheduled castes (SC), the scheduled tribes (ST) and other backward castes (OBC) – are the beneficiaries of the country’s Reservation System Program, while those with no claim to the quotas are grouped under one category. The SCs were historically among the most repressed communities, and shunned by the upper castes as “untouchables.” For centuries, they constituted the lowest segment of India’s caste-based hierarchical society. In short this caste-system is creating a lot of problems for those who fall in different categories as well as for those who do not fall in any of these categories. The worst effected ones are the Muslims who are included in the fourth category. All over India, the Muslims are no where given the status of a true Patriotic Indian. They are always treated as the Friends of Pakistan. So many times the Hindu extremists threaten them to leave India and go to Pakistan otherwise they would have to face the music. A few days back The Debate Org organized a discussion under the title ‘Must Muslims Leave India’. An extremist Hindu probably belonging to BJB said in the discussion, “Invaders are hardly welcome in a land they love to destroy. Islam has pillaged Bhaaratha (Bharat) for longer than the government of the UK has, or Christianity has. The scale of Islam-powered rapes, looting and religious intolerance is far bigger than the scale at which other thieves like UK, the French, the Portuguese worked. Mongols who picked up Islam from Arab-raped Iran brought this infection to India over a thousand years ago as they randomly raped prosperous Indian cities fuelled by Islamic thirst for others’ wealth.’ So in such a horrible situation Mr. Modi must not waste his time and energy on revival of India’s relation with EU, he needs to extinguish the flames of hatred and exploitation which are a continuous life threat not only to the Muslims but also to the other minorities in India.