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Lakshadweep, A hidden jewel of India?

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Located in the Arabian sea, a bunch of 35 small islands, it is the smallest union territory of India with a population of 60-65 thousand. It is run by an administrator, who is a high ranked officer just like other Union Territories.

What is going on?

Recently after the retirement of the last administrator, Praful Khoda Patel was appointed as administrator of Lakshadweep. He is a politician and administrator of 2 other union territories, Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

Why is it making headlines?

Most of the population is on the road protesting against their new administrator because recently, there have been new drafts instituted by Praful Khoda Patel, such as:

  • Draft Lakshadweep Panchayat 2021

Under this, parents having more than two children cannot conduct elections. If the local people cannot participate in their panchayat, then the results can be devastating.

  • Draft Lakshadweep Development Authority

Under this, the government can pick and choose any land for development. Unnecessary development will cause danger to the natural beauty and local flora and fauna of the place.

  • Animal preservation and reservation 2021

Similar to the Beef ban in other parts of the country, a violation of this will see imprisonment and fines imposed.  As most of the population there are non-vegetarians accustomed to their way of life, this too caused a furore.

  • Prevention of Anti-Social Activity

Anyone can be detained without any disclosure for up to 1 year. Laws like these were used by the Britishers 100 years ago and the Indian government is imposing it today, which has made people worried about their safety.

  • Promotion of liquor and more to increase tourism

The increase in tourism has led to an increase in the cases of Covid. Last year, there were zero cases of covid in all of Lakshadweep, but this year it was visited by many people as quarantine rules were relaxed, and that has seen active cases spike up to 6000. 

All these new rules and regulations have made people worried, and they want Mr Patel to be relieved of his duties. 

Months of strife, and an overreach of political muscle aimed at creating policies that depart from the traditions and culture of Lakshadweep has resulted in the present crisis.

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