PM Modi’s ‘Visit Lakshadweep’ proposal conceals deeper implications than initially apparent

Lakshadweep holds a strategic position, situated in proximity to a nation leaning towards China. With a predominantly Muslim population, this demographic composition becomes a crucial factor in the context of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Narendra modi lakshdweep

On Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi posted images from his visit to Lakshadweep, where he engaged with the locals, admired the breathtaking scenery along the pristine coastline, and indulged in snorkeling. He expressed his amazement at the islands’ stunning beauty and the warmth of its people in a viral tweet featuring several pictures.

Lakshadweep was a key destination during PM Modi’s busy two-day tour of the South, with Tamil Nadu and Kerala as the other stops, strategically planned ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. During his visit, he inaugurated and laid the foundation stone for multiple developmental projects valued at over Rs 1,150 crore in Lakshadweep. Additionally, he highlighted various completed projects from the past decade of his government.

PM Modi's 'Visit Lakshadweep' proposal conceals deeper implications than initially apparent

Home Minister Amit Shah reiterated Prime Minister Modi’s emphasis on promoting tourism in Lakshadweep, commending the archipelago’s captivating beaches, azure lagoons, and more.

Expressing optimism, Amit Shah stated, “Lakshadweep holds tremendous potential to emerge as a prominent global tourist destination. I am thankful to PM Narendra Modi Ji for actively promoting Lakshadweep. This initiative is poised to enhance tourism, bolster the economy, and consequently improve the living standards of its residents.

Championing Indigenous Excellence

“Lakshadweep stands not merely as an archipelago but as a timeless repository of customs and a reflection of its resilient populace. My exploration has unfolded as a journey of profound learning and personal growth,” shared PM Modi on X.

This endorsement for Lakshadweep as a tourism hotspot aligns with the Prime Minister’s advocacy for selecting Indian locales for weddings and travel. In a bid to encourage ‘Wed in India,’ he questioned the prevailing trend of hosting weddings abroad, urging people, even those with modest means, to celebrate such significant events within the nation during the 107th edition of Mann ki Baat.

“Even individuals with limited resources can create lasting memories of your wedding. Let’s extend the ethos of ‘Vocal for Local’ to this mission. Why not host these ceremonies in our own homeland?” he proposed.

Reiterating this sentiment at the Uttarakhand Investors’ Summit in Dehradun last month, PM Modi urged Indians to consider having at least “one destination wedding” in the picturesque Himalayan state. He envisioned a new movement akin to ‘Make in India,’ coined as ‘Wed in India,’ encouraging the youth to embrace matrimony within the country, thereby showcasing and celebrating India’s inherent strength and capabilities.

Lakshadweep

The Prime Minister’s efforts to promote Lakshadweep as a sought-after tourist destination may be viewed as a strategic move in response to the Maldives, a favored beach retreat for Indians. Despite the Maldives’ extensive collection of around 1,200 islands, only about 100 are inhabited, with numerous islands gaining popularity for tourism. Of significance, concerns have arisen regarding the Maldives’ perceived shift away from India, particularly as it strengthens ties with China.

pm modi in lakshdweep, Lakshadweep
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In a noteworthy development on November 18 last year, President Mohamed Muizzu, newly elected in the Maldives, formally requested India to remove its military presence from the nation. Emphasizing a commitment to maintaining independence, Muizzu declared in December 2023 that India had agreed to withdraw its military forces, a key campaign promise during his electoral bid.

China’s growing influence in the Maldives, demonstrated by leasing islands and conducting substantial military activities, poses a geopolitical challenge for India. Speculation surrounds China’s request to dock its research survey vessel for deep-water exploration in the Southern Indian Ocean and the potential for a free trade agreement with the Maldives. Should Muizzu’s government accept these proposals, it would mark a setback for India.

Focusing on Lakshadweep becomes strategic for India due to its geographic advantage, allowing oversight of Chinese activities in the Maldives.

Community Engagement and Political Outreach

During his address in Lakshadweep, Prime Minister Modi reached out to the predominantly Muslim population of the archipelago. Recognizing the region’s substantial Muslim demographic, Modi highlighted the BJP government’s measures benefiting Haj Yatris. He specifically commended the ease of the Haj visa, the digitization of the process, and the permission for women to undertake Haj without a ‘Mehram,’ contributing to a notable increase in Indians participating in ‘Umrah.’

In his speech, Prime Minister Modi expressed gratitude for the warm reception, emphasizing the significant role Lakshadweep plays in India’s overall tapestry. This move not only underscores Modi’s Muslim outreach in Lakshadweep, especially in the lead-up to the Lok Sabha elections, but also extends to Kerala. Given Lakshadweep’s reliance on Kerala for commodities and economic ties, Modi’s address to the Muslim-majority population is strategically positioned to attract Muslim voters from both the Union territory and Kerala in the upcoming polls.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Why is there a focus on promoting Lakshadweep as a tourist destination?

  • The promotion of Lakshadweep as a tourist destination is seen as a strategic move, potentially in response to the Maldives being a popular beach retreat for Indians. This move could offer India a geopolitical advantage in overseeing Chinese activities in the Maldives.

2. What are the recent developments between India and the Maldives?

  • In November last year, the newly-elected Maldivian President, Mohamed Muizzu, formally requested India to withdraw its military presence from the Maldives. India subsequently agreed to this request in December 2023. The growing influence of China in the Maldives and its military activities have raised concerns about a shift in the Maldives’ alignment.

3. How is China involved in the Maldives, and why is it a concern for India?

  • China has leased several islands in the Maldives, stationed ships, and conducted military operations. There are also talks of a free trade agreement and deep-water exploration. This growing influence poses a geopolitical challenge for India, especially if the Maldives aligns more closely with China.

4. Why is Lakshadweep strategically important for India?

  • Lakshadweep’s geographic location provides India with an advantage in overseeing Chinese activities in the Maldives. The archipelago’s proximity and strategic positioning make it crucial for India’s regional geopolitical interests.

5. How has Prime Minister Modi engaged with the Muslim population in Lakshadweep?

  • During his address in Lakshadweep, Prime Minister Modi reached out to the predominantly Muslim population. He highlighted measures taken by the BJP government, such as easing Haj visa procedures and digitization, aimed at benefiting Haj Yatris. This engagement is perceived as part of a larger political outreach strategy.

6. What role does Lakshadweep play in Indian politics, especially with regard to upcoming elections?

  • Lakshadweep’s Muslim-dominated population and its economic ties with Kerala make it a strategic region in Indian politics. Prime Minister Modi’s address to the Muslim community in Lakshadweep is seen as a political outreach not only within the Union territory but also in Kerala, with an eye on garnering support from Muslim voters in the upcoming elections.

7. Are there any implications for India if the Maldives aligns more closely with China?

  • Yes, there are potential implications. A closer alignment between the Maldives and China could impact India’s strategic interests in the region. This includes concerns about military presence, economic ties, and influence in the Indian Ocean. India’s focus on Lakshadweep can be seen as a response to these geopolitical dynamics.

8. How does the relationship between Lakshadweep and Kerala contribute to political dynamics?

  • Lakshadweep is heavily dependent on Kerala for commodities and has close economic ties. Prime Minister Modi’s outreach to the Muslim population in Lakshadweep is strategic not only for the Union territory but also in influencing political sentiments in Kerala, showcasing the interconnectedness of the two regions

Rinku Kumar
Rinku Kumar

Rinku Kumar is a talented and aspiring blogger known for her captivating content and insightful perspectives. Born on March 20, 2002, in Janta West, Muzaffarpur, Bihar, Rinku discovered her passion for writing at an early age. Growing up in a world of ever-evolving digital media, she found herself drawn to the vast opportunities for self-expression and communication offered by the internet.

From a young age, Rinku exhibited a natural flair for storytelling and a keen interest in exploring diverse topics. She honed her writing skills through personal journals, school essays, and online platforms. As she delved deeper into the world of blogging, she realized its potential to not only entertain but also to inform, inspire, and connect with people worldwide.

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