How South Block Functions?

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Drawing similarities with a case of an Indian owned and manned dhow, MV Bhakti Sagar, hijacked by Somali pirates in 2006, the former Navy chief recalled, "While Mumbai was proceeding with dispatch, a heated debate and discussion raged in the Cabinet Secretary's office about the advisability of sending a warship on this mission. At the end of these deliberations, the MEA sent a written note to NHQ posing a set of rhetorical questions, which came as *a revelation about the diffidence, timidity and lack of resolve that prevails at the policy-making levels*"

As Adm. Prakash recalls–The essence of the note, which took a

 *full 24 hours to traverse the corridors of South Block*, 

*was contained in one plaintive query which said*:

 " *Will we sail a destroyer every time an Indian national is in trouble anywhere*?"

 *The navy's emphatic response*: 

" *Yes of course; if we have one available* !"

A few days later, the ship-owner paid ransom to the pirates, and 21 Indian citizens came home.

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