India should maintain neutral stand
India is expected to play a larger role than it is currently playing. The fact that conditions were supposed to improve after the cold war and they did, now India should continue to maintain their neutral stance and act as a coordinator of peace between the two countries. India should follow in the non-alignment rules set forth by Jawaharlal Nehru but should do so in a different manner, a way more apt with the current situation. There are 41 places that are currently facing conflicts, as per my knowledge and India must find a way to keep peace across the world. It should play a larger role and naturally emerge as a strong country. If India fails to do so, no one in the future would take India seriously and that is not something India wants.
Ramesh Awasthi, Chairperson, People's Union of Civil Liberties, Maharashtra
We should maintain our distance
India should at no point in time leave the neutral stand that it holds now. America is a good country to maintain relations with given their economic and resource base and on the other hand Russia has always stood by India throughout all these years. Keeping this in mind we cannot afford to spoil relations with either of the countries and so a neutral stand is the best option available. Also the fact that Russia is behind this is a political statement and till the investigations are not complete and enough evidence is not in place no one should be taking sides. This battle is between the Americans and Russians and India at all times should maintain distance, stay neutral and continue to support both.
Cdr, Ravidra Pathak, IN (Retd)
India should voice international inquiry
Shooting down a civilian airplane is sad tragedy that has happened. As of now we do not know who is behind it, as nobody has taken the responsibility till now. If Russia is responsible or pro Russian rebels are responsible no one knows. It is being said that Ukraine rebels are using high-tech weapons supplied by Russia, therefore the whole world is holding Russia responsible for the ghastly act. Russia has been an old friend of India, therefore we should not immediately take a stance against Russia without having concrete proof against Russia. India should voice for international inquiry and if Russia is found to be involved in any way, then we should take strong stance against Russia. We should be cautious in the issue, however any type of war should not be brought to civilians and if innocent civilian are being made victims, we should strongly condemn it. US will always want India to join the capitalist and anti-communist lobby.
Abhijeet Vaidya, National President, Socialist Yuvajana Sabha
India's decision might not matter
Till it has been proved that Russia was involved in downing the Malaysian plane, India should not take any stance. Just because Russian made missile was used to down the civilian plane, cannot be taken as a proof of Russia's involvement. It is too early to take a stance against Russia when the investigations are not carried yet. India should wait and watch, till the facts are found out. India thinks it is a big player on the global platform, but US is least bothered about India's stance. It is not even bothered if India joins its lobby or not. Right now the best India can do is wait and watch and let the investigation take place. We are not powerful enough that our decision would matter.
Arun Bhatia, President of People's Guardian Party & ex-Municipal Commissioner of Pune