A collective sigh of relief masks the grave damage done
Antaryami, Tilak Raj and Sukhdev Singh have been set free in one hostage drama that comes with a happy ending, and without recourse to Asha Parekh after all.
The Indian government has already paid too high a price for their release, allowing a bunch of armed thugs to dictate its emigration policy. For the time being every Indian passport will carry a stamp of shame – making them invalid for travel to Iraq. Worse, by displaying its inclination yet again to negotiate and submit to demands of terrorists and kidnappers, the Indian government has made the world unsafe for Indians.
Nuclear-armed India has demoted itself in the international pecking order by demonstrating that although it has weapons that can wipe entire countries out, it lacks the will to stand up even to a handful of anonymous thugs. The General next door must be rubbing his hands in glee.
Update: In the end it was pictures of dead American presidents that secured their release.