The opposition party has not forgotten the humiliation, even after nine years. The recent arms scandal and the 'escape' of two Italian marines accused of killing two fishermen from India have bolstered the BJP to revive its anti-Italy cry again. The party, which might demand to replace Pakistan with Italy as India's numero uno enemy anytime soon, has accused the Congress of treating Italian culprits casually.
The BJP has said the Congress had failed to take decisive steps in the Bofors scandal of the 1980s and also in the recent armsgate and the marines issue. Three incidents relating to the same country, which also happens to be the motherland of Sonia Gandhi, remaining unsettled could not just be a coincidence, the BJP has alleged. Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sbaha Arun Jaitley said it is too much of a co-incidence that the Congress-led government has failed to nab Italian offenders.
Does Italy only mean Sonia Gandhi?
Is the BJP itself stretching things too far by joining every dot that is related to Italy? Or is it the failure of India's foreign policy mechanism to force a strong voice abroad?
Both answers seem to be in the affirmative. The BJP's own government could also not force much after an Indian aircraft was hijacked in end 1999. Its pro-nationalist stand could earn little benefits to the country then.
International law doesn't recognise the 'Sonia Gandhi' link. A scholar had once rightly said that India's political history could have been different had the surname of Feroze Gandhi was not Gandhi and something else. A similar question can be raised now: India's foreign policy conduct could have been different if Sonia Gandhi's motherland was not Italy and some other country.
If the opposition remains obsessed with the Gandhi tag as like the ruling party, there is very little chance that India's foreign policy perspectives would ever come of age.