Why Is Lakshadweep Island Suddenly A Matter Of Discussion?

Heard of Lakshadweep? If not net, this is the right time. Lakshadweep, a melting pot of cultures has become a point of hot debates in recent times. Let’s get to know more about the bewitching island and why is it even more relevant today.

Where exactly is Lakshadweep?

Consisting of 36 islands, it is a union territory of India located 240 miles off the Kerala coast. Kavaratti is the capital of the island and the region comes under the jurisdiction of the Kerala High Court. The isolated island has its own socio-cultural life and is mostly inhabited by Muslims.
Being a union territory, the region is now administered by the Union government appointed Praful Khoda Patel of Bharatiya Janatha Party. Standing aloof from the mainland, the outpost has a different history. Sure that the island is a good resource for development and it needs to be properly utilized. But what if the administration takes decisions, not in tune with the local emotions?

This is the reason why the island is in news. The administration has made certain regulations and these are said to be against the socio-economic and cultural life of islanders. It is learned that some of the proposals being made by the administration hurt the religious sentiments of the residents.

Among the draft laws, three are considered to be totally against the public will; Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Regulation (PASA), Animal Preservation Regulation, and the Panchayat Regulation. The PASA enables administrators to arrest anyone for a period of one year if he/ she is found to affect public order. The animal preservation law on other hand bans the slaughtering of cattle. Panchayat regulation has the power to disqualify people with more than two children from becoming gram panchayat members. And the biggest irony is that these are imposed in a Muslim populated region where there are only 89 cases registered in 2020(NCRB).

A few politicians called the laws ‘draconian as they will allow the administrator to arrest anyone without valid grounds. On contrary to the public notion, the collector Asker Ali said that there is no guarantee that the region will always remain peaceful. He added that the island which is to become a tourist hub should be prepared to tackle law and order issues in the future.

A more surprising action was that the administration has lifted the ban on alcohol recently. Many leaders have come forward against liquor licenses issued under the guise of tourism promotion.
No land should be kept away from progress but any regulation is to be implemented considering the geography, culture, and history. In a sensitive region like Lakshadweep where people carry a common expression of ‘islanders versus the mainlanders’, sensible decisions are to be taken. Their demands need to be heard and acted upon. An action imposed on them without addressing their grievances will lead to disengagement and protest. What we need is peace and not chaos. Let’s be a part of beautiful changes.

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