India Vs Maldives: How Lakshadweep Can Become A Major Tourist Destination

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A recent social media post from Lakshadweep by Prime Minister Modi has unwittingly triggered a political and economic standoff between India and Maldives. The seemingly innocuous image shared on January 5, 2024, has escalated into a contentious issue, drawing attention to both political and economic implications. This unfolding development is poised to become a noteworthy topic for Group Discussion (GD) in MBA Admissions and other entrance exams, given its widespread media coverage. MBAUniverse.com now offers a comprehensive review of the situation. 

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Historical and Geographical Context

Lakshadweep: Lakshadweep, India's smallest union territory comprising 36 islands, holds strategic importance for the Indian Navy. It boasts 20,000 sq. km. of territorial waters and 400,000 sq. km. of Economic Zone Exclusive (EEZ), featuring valuable fisheries and mineral resources.

 

Maldives: The Republic of Maldives, an archipelagic state in South Asia, lies southwest of Sri Lanka and India. Despite its small size, it holds geopolitical significance. Historically, India has maintained a friendly and supportive relationship with the Maldives.

 

Maldives plays a crucial role in India's maritime strategies, particularly within the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). A recent request by Maldives President to withdraw Indian military presence has added a layer of complexity to the relationship. 

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Current Controversy
The controversy ignited when three deputy ministers in the Maldives Ministry of Youth Affairs made derogatory comments about India and Prime Minister Modi after his Lakshadweep visit. Subsequently, the Maldives government suspended the ministers, emphasizing that personal opinions on social media do not represent the official stance.

 

Impact on India-Maldives Relationship
The controversy has led to prominent Indian personalities expressing their desire to include Lakshadweep in their travel plans. This, in turn, has prompted a trend of Indians canceling holiday bookings in the Maldives, as highlighted on social media.

 

Lakshadweep Tourism Potential

While there is a lot of interest in Lakshwadeep as a tourist destination, a lot of factors must align to make it a big tourist hub.

  • Promotion: There is a need for global promotion of Lakshadweep, which remains relatively unknown outside India.
  • Connectivity: Addressing limited connectivity is crucial, emphasizing the establishment of better air and sea connections.
  • Capacity Building: Infrastructure development is essential to accommodate tourists without compromising the natural beauty of Lakshadweep.
  • Cost-effective Measures: Investment is required to meet the diverse needs of tourists while preserving the environmental integrity of Lakshadweep.

Government Vision - 2030 for Lakshadweep
The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi dedicated to the nation and laid the foundation stone of development projects worth more than Rs 1150 crores in Kavaratti, Lakshadweep on Jan 3, 2024. The development projects of today cover a wide range of sectors including technology, energy, water resources, healthcare and education. The Prime Minister handed out laptops to students under the Laptop Scheme and gave away bicycles to school students under Beti Bachao Beti Padhao. He also handed out PM Kisan Credit Cards to farmer and fishermen beneficiaries. 

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Future Outlook
Riding on the controversy, Lakshadweep can turn into a important destination for tourism in India. Government and Industry must come together to make it a reality by building required infrastructure. 

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