In the Kulbhushan Jhadav case the Government stands indicted whatever the case may be


Irrespective of whether Kulbhushan Jadhav is what India claims he is or is what Pakistan claims, government of India stands indicted in both cases.

Let us assume that he is innocent which also seems to be the case. If so, is this how our government should be behaving? An ex-officer, or any citizen of India, doing legitimate business somewhere, is kidnapped by an enemy nation and tried without any reference of the mother country. All that the mother country does is lodge a request to allow the Indian counsel to meet him in the enemy country. When the request is denied, all they do is to send a reminder after a month? Speeches in parliament about ‘premeditated murder’ and reference to the ‘son of India’ have not been matched by actions on ground.

It can be argued that backdoor channels have been activated to get him released. Why backdoor? If what the enemy country has done is clearly wrong, this is not how a 120 crore strong country should be behaving. This treatment to a legitimate citizen in grave peril is not in line with the actions of a government that has introduced a bill in the parliament arguing that Hindus of Bangladesh who illegally enter India must not be deported, since ‘where else will a Hindu go if not to India?’ A country which looks so concerned about nationals of another country even when they enter India illegally has no right to be so lackadaisical in its support to one of its own nationals, who is also an ex-officer. India’s lack of support to parents of Capt Kalia, who was killed in custody after torture in Kargil war, is already a blot on the image of the government. On the other hand, its decision to release five hardcore terrorists in exchange of Rubaiya Sayeed, daughter of the then Home minister in 1989, creates an impression that the government will go to any limits for sake of kin of politicians but not an inch for others. The urgency with which the government got the chappal MP to fly again is another case in point.

Recently, the government has taken one more step in the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav. It has sent the petition of the mother of Kulbhushan Jadhav to Pakistan. Well, Kulbhushan’s family must have been paying his taxes to the government of India, not of Pakistan. Why should the mother need to make applications to Pakistan? Isn’t India a sovereign country?

It is claimed the news that Pak has refused to grant consular access is not entirely true. Only, they have laid a condition that India assists in the investigation. If Kulbhushan indeed is innocent, which I believe to be the case, why should India not do so?

In the unlikely event of the second likelihood being true, the indictment to the government would become even more severe. No government has the sanction of their people to order bombing of civilians in another country. That would amount to exceeding one’s brief. The main objection to the alleged plotter of 26/11 incident, Zaki Ur Rehman Lakvi is just this – ordering killing of innocent civilians. This simply cannot be justified or excused by any side.

In a democracy, the government must work as per the approval of the masses, for their benefit and only do things that are legal. Protection of its citizens is its prime duty which has to be carried out aggressively. It is not enough to say that we have sent a letter and followed it with a reminder. Also, no government should be seen as inciting violence among civilians in any country. Whatever the perceived end result, that is not what the citizens have approved. Even if some of them do, it is against the soul of the country and the law of the land. Let us make it clear to our leaders that if they ever do something like this, neither the nation nor the law will back them.

This government is indicted for being irresponsible, whatever be the reality of Kulbhushan Jadhav. In both cases, the charges against the government are severe. Things cannot be brushed under the carpet claiming that these are strategic matters which are beyond discussion with the public. Yes, it has a right not to reveal some facts. However in this case, revealing the facts is not necessary. There are only two possibilities about the real status of Kulbhushan Jadhav and in both cases, the government stands indicted.

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Col Alok Asthana (retired) served 3 instructional tenures in the top training academies of Indian army. He raised one of the early RR bns and commanded it in Manipur and then in J&K. After taking premature retirement from army, he got trained in TRIZ (a form of Innovation) at IITB and is now a consultant on innovation and leadership - A believer that we should care for governance, not politics, he has recently started Sushaasan - - which aims to empower citizens to seek good governance for themselves. He is keen that we 'reclaim our democracy'