Lakshadweep Controversy

Lakshadweep is the smallest union territory of India. The archipelago is famous for its pristine beaches, coral reefs, and marine life, making it a popular tourist destination. But recently it has come to attention after the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi posted some photos of himself snorkeling and walking along the beach of Lakshadweep . The social media post erupted controversy as three officials from Maldives made some derogatory remarks on that post . Though the Maldives government immediately removed those comments and cleared their position , the island country is facing a boycott.

Lakshadweep or formerly known as the  Laccadives is an archipelago consisting of 36 islands. It is located on India’s West coast in the Arabian sea . The Union Territory is governed by an Administrator appointed by the President of India. Kavaratti serves as the administrative center. The Malayalam and Sanskrit meaning of the term Lakshadweep is “Hundred Thousand Islands.” The majority of the population is Muslim, and Malayalam is the most widely spoken language. Even though Lakshadweep’s government encourages tourism, the sector is strictly regulated to prevent any unfavorable effects on the environment. 

In January ,the Indian  Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared some picturesque photos of Lakshadweep . He promoted it as an excellent travel destination during his official visit.Modi did not mention anything about Maldives in his social media post . But some officials from the Maldives interpreted his gushing admiration of the lesser-known archipelago’s breathtaking surroundings as a charm offensive to lure tourists there rather than the Maldives. They described Modi as Clown , Puppet of Israel , and a terrorist .

These events sparked a rife between India and Maldives. Indian citizens called for boycott on different social media captions like ‘Boycott Maldives ‘, ‘Don’t Go To The Maldives Way’. The Maldives government quickly responded and suspended the three deputy ministers with the Ministry of Youth Employment, Information and Arts . They also cleared their position by stressing that the comments are personal and do not represent the government’s view . 

“The government believes that the freedom of expression should be exercised in a democratic and responsible manner, and in ways that do not spread hatred, negativity, and hinder close relationships between the Maldives and its international partners” 

The incident had serious implications . As the economy of Maldives is largely dependent on tourism and Indian tourists are on the top of the list . There is a major decline in the number of Indian tourists visiting the Maldives after the incident . There is also a political tension between the two countries as the present government of Maldives has taken several Pro-Chinese policies .

About The Author

Author: Miftahul Zannat

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *