Maldives: The Puppet of China

Areal view of Agatti Island airport lakshadweep

Maldives has been put into a spot after criticising India. The president of Maldives Mohammad Muizu has issued an apology for his anti-Indian remark and terminated the three monsters who had criticised India and Indian Priminister, Narendra Modi.

During the first week of January 2024, when priminisater Narendra Modi visited Lakshadeep and promoted Laksadeep tourism and encouraged the citizens of India to visit the place. Thereafter, the Maldives and India dispute took place. It is no hidden fact that the Maldives has been a puppet to China because of its financial assistance. The ministers of Maldives including President Mohammad Muizu made inappropriate and irresponsible comments about India and its prime minister without regarding the current economic scenario of their own country. The promotion of Lakshadweep tourism in India has not gone down well with the Maldives government which led them to criticize the act of prime minister Modi. Two of their ministers Marium Siuna and Zahid Ramiz of the Maldives political party in power, had criticized India by stating Prime Minister Modi was a puppet of Israel and also criticized the quality of hospitality services in India. In retaliation, Indians also had a very vocal reaction to these
comments by criticizing the Maldives in return. When confronted by the Indian higher officials, the Maldives government stated the ministers concerned are accountable for their comments, not the government. The ministers were criticized by their own country and fellow members. The social media started to explode in anti-Maldives comments and hashtag boycotting Maldives started to trend.

Here the question arises whether Maldives is intolerant towards Lakshadweep. Is it because the development of tourism in Lakshadweep would have a heavy impact on the economy of the Maldives? Inda, now, is keen on developing and promoting tourism in Lakshadweep by making it more beautiful than the Maldives. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced an 1150 million package for the development of Lakhsadweep. There will be construction of airports from where fighter jets, military aircraft and will be launched, which would increase the power of India in the Indian Arabian as the Arabian Oceans. The tourists can easily transport to Lakhsadeep through the airport on Minicoy Island. The Indian army can keep a close vigilance in the Indian and Araban Oceans, as a result, there will be a curb on the arbitrary actions of China.

It will be easy for the Indian Navy and air force to navigate through the Indian and Arabian
Ocean. Now there is only one airport in the Aagayi Island of Lakshadweep which does not provide all kinds of facilities. The idea of construction of an airport on Minicoy Island was first proposed by the Indian military, so it has become necessary to work on this proposal as soon as possible. Israel has also shown interest in collaborating with India in the development of Lakshadweep tourism. The common mass and young tourists in India are getting more and more attracted towards the Lakshadweep. Last year there were more than 25 thousand tourists who visited Lakshadweep.

As Indian tourists are withdrawing from the Maldives, it is trying to attract more tourists from China to subside its economy. After there is a commenced initiative to make Lakshadweep the new tourist destination the luxury hotels have raised their company shares prices. Especially, the share price of Praveg Ltd had risen to 40 per cent, and after the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, there has been of 34 per cent hike in the ‘Ease My Trip’  searches for Lakshadweep. The share value of this company has also increased by 6 per cent. After the dispute with India,  Ease My Trip has cancelled all the flight bookings for Maldives.

More than 2 lakh tourists visit Maldives from India every year, after the anti-India remark by the Maldives government, many Indian tourists including some big Bollywood personalities have cancelled their visit to Maldives. Many Indian celebrities and sports stars have made negative remarks on social media handles. So this negative attitude of the Maldives government, supported by China has gone wrong for their economic flourishing and rather it has proved to be a boost for Indian tourism plans for the Lakshadweep project. Many Indians are attracted towards Lakshadweep and it worked as a social media campaign or advertisement to encourage Indian young tourists towards their treasured land.