After 10 harrowing months and living constantly staring at the barrel of a gun, 11 Indian sailors were finally released. The ransom paid $ 2.1 million.
Of late Somali pirates have practically held the high seas hostage as one ship after another is hijacked. One such incident, which involved an American citizen, a few months back ended in the American forces mounting a quick operation, rescuing the hostage and shooting dead the pirates. But that is expected of the Superpower.
Living abroad has made me into a proud Indian. However, when incidents like this happens, I cannot but help wonder why the diplomats churn out media savvy quotes like "India is a rising superpower."
Well a superpower, rising or not, does not conduct itself in a manner which acts like a dormant volcano waiting for the plates to shift for it to erupt. In the case of our politicians the "political will" is just not there.
Joint exercises are routinely organized by Indian Naval and US forces in different parts of the world. India's Navy has the expertise and the technology to mount an operation in the high seas to rescue its citizens, yet politicians cringe and the very thought of mounting such an operation.
Sources in the diplomatic community have confirmed to me that the US government had given the go ahead to India and also assured that the US Navy would be glad to assist.
Yet the Indian government chose in their own "wisdom" not to act. India's policy is not to negotiate with terrorists, yet it fails to to use the necessary force to counter such incidents.
Yet, ransom was paid by a Pakistani human rights activist Ansar Burney, to secure the release of our sailors.
In my opinion, though Burney meant well and succeeded in saving the lives of our sailors, a dangerous precedence has been set.
The Somali pirates will strike and strike again. The Indian sailors who have been released must be debriefed by Indian authorities and then intelligence must be gathered to strike deep into the hideouts of the pirates