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The India-Maldives Controversy Explained

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The India-Maldives Controversy Explained

On January 5, 2024, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when visited Lakshadweep island for the inauguration of various projects, enjoyed a good time at the beach, posted pristine blue pictures of the island on his Instagram account, and captioned, “For those who wish to embrace the adventurer in them, Lakshadweep has to be on your list.” An ordinary image is the root cause of the ongoing tensions between Maldives and India, where the controversy is revolving.

The controversy arose when Mahzoom Majid, Malsha Shareef, and Maryam Shiuna, three deputy ministers of Maldives in the Ministry of Youth Affairs made some derogatory comments about the Prime Minister of India and the country.

This occurred after the recent visit of PM Modi to Lakshadweep. On X, formerly Twitter, Maryam Shiuna focused on Israel and India’s connections. This was followed by the intervention of her colleagues that PM Modi’s visit to Lakshadweep Island was an intentional threat to Maldivian tourism.

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Maldives has been popular for its picturesque scenic view along with popular beachside amenities.

After receiving the derogatory remarks, the Indian government presented the issue to the Government of Maldives. This resulted in the suspension of all three ministers who made negative comments about the country and its Prime Minister.

The government of Maldives stated, “The Government of Maldives is aware of derogatory remarks on social media platforms against foreign leaders and high-ranking individuals. These opinions are personal and do not represent the views of the Government of Maldives. It believes in freedom of expression but that has to be exercised responsibly.”

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India-Maldives Relationship

The picturesque island nation, of Maldives, holds a significant position being one of the crucial maritime neighbors of the Indian sub-continent within the IOR or Indian Ocean Region. Maldives is also included in various flagship schemes of the country including SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region). Moreover, Maldives also holds immense importance in the eyes of India, as India embraces, the “Neighbourhood First Policy.”

In November 2023, Mohamed Muizzu was sworn in as the President of Maldives. He made many headlines after that. The president asked India to withdraw its military presence from the island group or Maldives archipelago.

India replied that the presence of the Military aims to provide medical support to the faraway islands located in the Indian Ocean region, which are a part of India. During the climate summit in Dubai, the President of Maldives, Muizzu, and the Prime Minister of India, Modi met on December 1.

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Also Read: PM Modi’s Visit To Lakshadweep Island In 2024, Sparks Up Debates Against Maldives Tourism

The recent tensions could be witnessed when the President of Maldives visited China. Global Times, the Chinese media, praised the foreign policy followed by Mohamed Muizzu and stated, “It only demonstrates that Muizzu is treating India with a normal mindset and steering the relationship between the Maldives and India to a normal state-state relationship.”

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Subhashree Panda: A proficient content writer, editor, and researcher. With 4 years of experience and an MBA in finance, she crafts compelling narratives on global events. Her passion for diverse journalism genres resonates widely, fostering broad audience connections.

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