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The Indian government has many cards up its sleeve in dealing with the Italian government’s duplicity. Sonia Gandhi, who is acutely embarrassed with the shenanigans of her fellow countrymen, has personally directed the top brass of her government to come up with options to hold the Italian government’s feet to fire. Our source in the UPA was kind enough to share these plans:
1) Get Dr. Manmohan Singh to ratchet up the rhetoric: Dr. Manmohan Singh minced no words when he said that what the Italians had done was unacceptable and there would be consequences. “If you think that was scary, then let me tell you that is just the tip of the iceberg,” revealed a top PMO bureaucrat privy to the thoughts and feelings of the Prime Minister. “After all, this was the same man who had made the Pakistani establishment quake with fear after the 26/11 attacks by saying that the perpetrators of those attacks would be made to pay a price.”
Sources reveal that if Italy doesn’t send the marines back, the PM will issue even more grave threats such as “this is categorically unacceptable” and up the ante in a calibrated manner.
2) Flexing India’s soft power: India is not just a rising economic and military superpower but also a great soft-power. This gives it many options to strike back at the Italians. “One way to make the Italians pay for their perfidy is to humiliate them by making them watch Players, the Abbas-Mustan remake of The Italian Job,” tweeted famous Indian blogger and strategic thinker, Greatbong. More extreme measures would entail flooding the Italian market with dubbed versions of RGV movies.
3) Actually co-operate with Italy in investigating the VVIP chopper scam: This will probably cause more inconvenience to the Indian government than its Italian counterpart but then desperate circumstances call for irrational responses. “Instead of sending the CBI on paid trips to Italy to investigate the recipients of kickbacks, maybe we can get serious and actually tell the Italians who the beneficiaries are to signal how pissed we are and that its no longer business as usual,” said geopolitics expert, Nitin Bai.
4) Ban Pizza and Pasta from India: Admittedly, this is an extreme move and may not even get the nod from 10, Janpath but fire has to be met with fire. “If we don’t succeed in banning Pizza outright, we can at least export the Indian version of Pizza, the Paneer Tikka Pizza, to hurt Italy economically,” opined Commerce Minister, Anand Sharma.
5) Boycott Italy in Cricket: Start treating Italy like Pakistan by banning Italian players from participating in IPL and declining to play a series with them. Ok, this is really not going to hurt the Italians but at least it’s more credible than boycotting them in soccer.