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HomeIndia NewsRajat Sharma's Blog: Hurting India's identity may prove costly for Maldives

Rajat Sharma’s Blog: Hurting India’s identity may prove costly for Maldives

Image Source : INDIA TV
Rajat Sharma, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of India TV.

The shameful and unnecessary comments made by three Maldivian ministers against Prime Minister Narendra Modi are costing the Maldivian government dearly. The Government of India called the High Commissioner of Maldives in the Ministry of External Affairs and clearly told him that the objectionable statements made by three Maldivian ministers and MPs are not at all acceptable and may affect mutual relations. India has been continuously helping Maldives for the last 50 years, it has an old friendship with India and India has given assistance of 1.5 billion dollars to Maldives. What happened was that Narendra Modi had gone to Lakshadweep last week and he had posted beautiful pictures of the beaches of Lakshadweep on social media, and had asked Indians to definitely visit Lakshadweep, since Maldives is close to Lakshadweep and all the earnings of Maldives go to Lakshadweep. beach tourism, the anti-India lobby there became active. Three ministers of this anti-Indian lobby started making fun of Modi and Indians on social media. Maldivian ministers tweeted using abusive language about Modi and Indians and when the Indian government strongly objected to it, many of these ministers had to delete their handles. But the anger of the Indian government and the people of India did not subside. These three ministers were immediately suspended from their posts by the Maldives government. Maldives government issued a statement saying that it is wrong to make such comments against the neighboring country India. A major travel booking agency of India has stopped booking tourists for Maldives.

On the other hand, Maldives President Muhammad Muizzu is in China on a five-day official visit. He is going to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping. Muizu has won the recent elections by spewing venom against India. He is considered pro-China and anti-India. Taking advantage of the opportunity, China’s official newspaper Global Times wrote that both China and India are friends of Maldives, China wants to help Maldives, and India should not object to this. Global Times wrote that India should assess the situation with an open mind but the Maldives government knows that it earns most of its income from tourism. Hurting India’s self-respect could prove costly for Maldives. Maldives showing its eyes to India has proved dangerous for Maldives itself. The hashtag Boycott Maldives has been trending on social media for the last 72 hours. As soon as three Maldivian ministers made objectionable tweets against PM Modi, making fun of Modi, Indians all over the world took it personally. The sentiments of the countrymen were hurt and their anger erupted. This anger was not limited to just comments and social media posts. Flight tickets to Maldives started getting canceled one after the other. People of India protested and gave up the idea of ​​going to Maldives, and started canceling hotel bookings. Maldives tried to control the damage after hundreds of flight tickets and hotel bookings were cancelled, but it was too late.

Maldives did not do well by unnecessarily teasing India. This is going to have a direct impact on its economy. With a population of five and a half lakhs, 25 percent of the GDP of Maldives comes from the tourism sector alone. Millions of tourists visit Maldives every year, which drives its economy. According to Maldives government data, more than two lakh people from India visited Maldives in 2023. This brings foreign exchange earnings to Maldives, but when Maldivian ministers made lewd comments about Narendra Modi, and ran anti-India propaganda on the social media there, many travel companies of India canceled their packages for Maldives. Given. Most of the reactions came on social media on the indecent statements of Maldivian ministers about the Prime Minister of India. From film stars to cricket stars, everyone condemned the statements of Maldivian ministers, shared pictures of the natural beauty of India’s islands, and appealed to people to visit the beautiful islands of their country. While sharing the tweet of cricketer Virender Sehwag, superstar Amitabh Bachchan wrote that he has visited Lakshadweep and Andaman, and both are full of natural beauty. Superstar Salman Khan also tweeted that the Prime Minister of our country shared pictures of the beautiful beaches of Lakshadweep, it was great to see this… and this is in our India. Akshay Kumar was the first to react to the statements of Maldives ministers. Akshay wrote that Maldives is beautiful and he has been there many times but, our country comes first… and we cannot tolerate such hateful statements.

Apart from Akshay, John Abraham, Ekta Kapoor, Bhumi Pednekar, Varun Dhawan, Kartik Aryan and Tiger Shroff also tweeted in support of their country. Apart from these, many cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Suresh Raina, Hardik Pandya also shared pictures of India’s natural beauty, terming the statement of Maldives ministers as very bad. India got the support of many countries in this social media war with Maldives. Israel’s embassy in India tweeted pictures of Lakshadweep and said that last year our ambassador had gone to Lakshadweep, Israel is helping in the project to clean the salt water there. During this period, Israeli officials also saw the natural beauty of Lakshadweep. Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momin said that India has always stood by neighboring countries, helped them, and Maldivian ministers should not make such statements about the Indian Prime Minister.

I had heard this many times before that India has Lakshadweep, which is better than Maldives. Just 450 miles from Maldives. If India develops it, it can become a big tourist destination in the world. But everyone just talked, no one did anything. This time on the occasion of New Year, Narendra Modi did this in one stroke. By posting pictures of Lakshadweep on Twitter, Modi showed how beautiful and picturesque this island is. Modi had nowhere said that it can compete with Maldives but the arrow fired by Modi hit the target. People all over the world started searching Lakshadweep on Google, Lakshadweep was the most searched place in 20 years. The remaining task was completed by three ministers of Maldives by making negative comments about our Prime Minister. The language used about Modi is shameful and condemnable, but we got a big benefit from it. Sentiments of crores of people were hurt, thousands of people reacted and it had two big effects – people once again remembered Lakshadweep as a tourist destination, Modi’s pictures of Lakshadweep dominated the entire social media. Hundreds of people announced cancellation of tickets to Maldives. A campaign was started that the people of India would not go to Maldives, the country of ministers who used indecent language against Modi. This could cause huge loss to Maldives. Tourism is the biggest source of income for Maldives. Out of the tax revenue that the government receives there, 90 percent comes from tourism taxes. 60 percent of Maldives’ foreign exchange comes from tourism and last year, 11 percent of the foreign tourists who visited Maldives were Indians. Therefore, if Indian tourists boycott Maldives, this tourism-oriented country may suffer a lot. There is a lot of noise about this on social media. Many of our film stars, cricket players and important personalities raised questions on the language of Maldives ministers. Asked his people to forget Maldives and make Lakshadweep a destination. That is why the government of Maldives got scared. The ministers were suspended but by then it was too late. The question of Maldives became linked to India’s self-respect. Lakshadweep became a symbol of patriotism. It will not be easy for Maldives to extinguish this fire because this fire has started in the hearts of Indians. This fire is a fire that awakens the self-respect of Indians. (Rajat Sharma)

Watch: ‘Aaj Ki Baat with Rajat Sharma’ full episode of 08 January 2024

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