Being an “Indian” remained a folkloric collective vision of not being a lively and shrewd person, or simply of being dull. Till relatively recent times, you could hear it everywhere: in the street, in the cafeteria, in the market, at school, at the club, in public offices, in theater plays, in films and even sometimes among the upper social class; you could hear one of many variations of the same theme like: “do I look like an Indian?”, or “is it written on my front ‘here is an Indian’?”!!
Actually I don’t know for certain the origin of such a popular saying, and to what context it has been vastly circulated. But for sure it goes back to the early days when Egypt and India were two colonies under the British Crown. However investigating its origins is not my aim of this article.
Today I want to discuss “Sovereignty” by measuring the ethical distance separating two recent “Juridical Debates”, which are being transformed into “Political Issues” and escalated to the verge of becoming “Diplomatic Crisis”; thus demonstrating a practical test to the term “Sovereign State”.
Few weeks ago a couple of Italian marines deployed on an Italian commercial oil tanker, as per the “Anti-Pirating NATO Protocol”, were arrested by the Indian authorities for having ‘shot to kill two Indian fishermen’ the marines doubted them of being pirates. Immediately the Italian diplomacy used all its resources to dialogue with their Indian counterparts saying that the “Incident” occurred in international waters and as such should be treated according to international maritime laws, therefore the marines should be released and handed to the Italian competent authorities.
The Indian Executive and Juridical Institutions viewed the matter from another perspective completely opposed to the Italian argumentations. For them the “Crime” was consumed within the Indian territory inside the Indian waters, as such the defendants should be investigated according to Indian Law and tried before Indian Courts.
The matter is now turning into a fierce political confrontation between both nations, and is very close of becoming a very serious diplomatic crisis finding thrust and energy every day by an accelerated increment of an overwhelming “Demagogic Sense of Nationalism” here and there, nourished by an increasingly frenetic media.
In the meantime the Italian marines are in Indian custody inside an Indian Jail awaiting trial according to the Indian Code.
Well.. In Egypt almost in the same time, yet surely still in a much far backward different era; and while following the case of the alleged “Doubtful Foreign Financings” to some NGOs operating on the Egyptian Soil, we have witnessed the humiliating act arrogantly performed by the “Egyptian Government” in kneeling before, and conceding to, ‘foreign wishes’ in total violation of the “Egyptian law” and in an undisputable breach of the “Egyptian Constitution” which this very same government publically pledged an oath to uphold.
The only apparent decent act throughout the entire farce was the public announcement of the Court’s Honourable Judges, whom were assigned to preside and view the proceedings; their blushing shy appearances couldn’t mean less than a desperate try for saving faces out from an indelible stain over the “Egyptian Laws, Constitution, and Institutions”. The same institutions who willingly denounced their sworn function: “…to defend and protect Egypt’s Sovereignty”.
Thus voiding from their meanings, as the indispensable foundations of any ‘Free Independent State’, terms like sovereign, sovereignty, the law is sovereign, and of course “State Sovereignty”.
Before such clamorous paradoxes illustrated by the official Indian vs. Egyptian interpretation, manifestation and practice of “Sovereignty”; I can’t help but recalling the spirits of Indian and Egyptian giant beacons like Taghor, El Tahtawy, Saad Pacha Zaghlool, El Nahas Pacha, Talaat Pacha Harb, El Sanhoury Pacha, Ghandy, and Nehro; among hundreds of thousands of other scientists, philosophers, poets, politicians, industrials and very wise juridical idealists.. Beacons who marked the growth of civilisation, the respect of the law, the enrichment of the liberal ideals and the safeguarding of a fundamental pillar for freedom: “Sovereignty”.
Pass On The Word.