New Delhi: The CPI-M said on Thursday that the Italian refusal to send back its two marines to face the Indian law was linked to India`s hunger for foreign investment.
The acts of foreigners who violate Indian law "with virtual impunity is directly connected with the neo-liberal trajectory of economic reforms" New Delhi has pursued since 1991, the CPI-M said.
"In the urge and eagerness to attract foreign investment, virtually succumbing to the dictates of international finance capital, India is increasingly seen as a state that vacillates to firmly uphold our political sovereignty and the rule of law.
"Such an appeasement to foreign capital at the expense of our sovereignty undermines the vital essence and character of the Indian nation," said an editorial in the CPI-M journal People`s Democracy.
"This only vindicates our position that surrender of economic sovereignty in the name of neo-liberal reforms can never stop ... and will necessarily lead to the undermining of our political sovereignty," it said.
The editorial follows Rome`s decision not to stick to its pledge to the Supreme Court that the marines, charged with killing two Indian fishermen, would return to India after voting in Italian elections.
The decision has brought a chill in India-Italy relations. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has termed the Italian move "unacceptable" and said it would have a bearing on bilateral relations.
"One can only hope that the prime minister will uphold ... the commitment he made to the Indian parliament on this issue of the Italian marines, and display the expected firmness and conviction of a prime minister under oath to uphold the inviolability of the Indian constitution and sovereignty," it said.
The editorial also demanded to know why the Indian state and judiciary let the Italians return to their country -- first to celebrate Christmas with their families and then to vote in national elections.
"Under-trials in India are not allowed by law to cast their vote in an election. Then, how can these Italian marines charged for murder in Indian waters and facing trial under Indian law be treated differently?
"Will the inmates of, say, Delhi`s Tihar jail be allowed to celebrate the forthcoming Holi festival with their families?
"Clearly, different set of rules seem to be followed with regard to these Italians."