From time to time the definition of what is a ‘good job’ keeps changing. In the 1970s it was a job in the American Oil companies. When people said they were working in ‘Esso’ or ‘Caltex’ – it was a great job. Esso was an acronym for ‘Every Saturday and Sunday Off’ – quite unheard of for the other companies.

Then it was the turn of pharma companies….the wheel keeps turning.

Now of course, undeniably it is the financial services industry – the number of profitable companies are not too high, but the employees are doing well.

There has been one industry though that has always had the fancy of boys – and some men too. That is the job of a sailor. Of course these jobs were always risky – but now the Somali angle has changed the definiton of risk.

A sailor goes out to sail to earn a living and gets paid (those who cannot say they are over paid 12th pass people – like our famous Civil aviation minister said about pilots). In India there are so many industries which employs Mba’s because they are available – LOL – and many of them doing the job of a 12th standard pass!

Funnily the Somali pirates do not touch the Russian ships? Why? One Russian navy ship just surrounded a Somali terrorist ship and killed all the pirates!

Manmohan Singh is of course busy with Raja, Praful, Sharad, Sonia….so the seafarer’s voice will not be heard…we need an Anna Hazare to get these sailors the basic right of freedom. Our Navy cannot – it is no patch on the Russian Navy. Or perhpaps they are scared of the Somalian terrorists!!

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  1. perhaps,many ships will start pretending that they are russian ships now? that is a quite powerful signal from what you describe.

  2. Subra,

    Something is amiss here. It can’t be as simple as Russian Navy killing all Somali pirates. Do you have any link for this story?

    In 2008/09 INS Tabar had blasted a pirate mother ship and one of the speedboats on being challenged in the Gulf of Aden. It was one of the first such offensive action against the pirates. And the third firefight for INS Tabar in a week. Sadly it wasn’t followed up with much. It certainly did not deter the pirates from capturing India flagged vessels.

    If Russian ships are not held it may be because Russia is a major supplier of weapons to the warlords in Somalia. These warlords eventually control piracy operations as well.

    Also, I do not think too much Russia bound traffic passes through the Gulf of Aden. Most of the traffic on these lanes is India, South East Asia and China bound.

    I agree with you on the plight of sailors and the spineless response of the GoI in general. I do not understand why is the shipping minister being dragged into this matter? If tomorrow an IT professional is kidnapped in USA will the IT minister be held responsible for his/her release?

    It is strictly the domain of the MEA and Defence Ministry. MEA is headed by a man who can’t do anything and Defence Ministry by a man who wouldn’t do anything. Keep waiting, keep praying.

  3. “Our Navy is no match for the Russian Navy”…

    Absolute terms it may be true but how much firepower do you need to kill pirates who have light machine guns and rocket launchers at best. Compared to, say INS Tabar, a stealth frigate with BrahMos missiles, 100-mm A-190 (E) Dual Purpose Gun mount for surface and air targets having rate of fire of 60 rounds a minute at a range of 15 km and close in weapon systems that can fire a 1000 rounds a minute besides other stuff. How much firepower do you need to fight off fishing boats?

    It all boils down to have the b**ls to do it. It seems strange that a country that is likely to spend USD 50 billion to augment its fire power is afraid of using it.

  4. Do Indian sea farers form a vote bank? NO. So sorry, we could not care if they existed..
    On another note how many Russian deckhands are there in the world compared to Indian deckhands…

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