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India-Maldives Conflict | Explained

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The ongoing diplomatic tension between Maldives and India has taken an unexpected turn as former Deputy Speaker Eva Abdulla condemned the recent derogatory remarks made by three Maldivian ministers against Prime Minister Modi and India. In an exclusive interview with NDTV, Abdulla labeled the comments as “shameful and racist,” expressing her understanding of the Indian public’s outrage. Additionally, she issued a personal apology to the people of India and urged them to reconsider the #BoycottMaldives social media campaign. 

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The dispute originated when Maldivian ministers posted insulting remarks targeting India and Prime Minister Modi in response to his social media updates during a visit to Lakshadweep. The posts, showcasing the Prime Minister snorkeling and enjoying the pristine beaches, sparked a reaction on social media, with users suggesting Lakshadweep as an alternative holiday destination to the Maldives.

The derogatory comments triggered a #BoycottMaldives campaign on social media, leading to the cancellation of planned holidays by many Indians and endorsements of Lakshadweep by Bollywood celebrities. Eva Abdulla, a former Deputy Speaker and sitting MP of Maldives, acknowledged the justifiable anger among Indians, emphasizing that the comments did not represent the sentiments of the Maldivian people. She issued a heartfelt apology to India and appealed to Indians to end the boycott campaign, urging them to return to the Maldives for holidays.

India-Maldives diplomatic row: India summons Maldivian envoy after  'derogatory' remarks against PM Modi |

Source: Mint

Abdulla underscored the significance of the strong ties between India and Maldives, emphasizing the island nation’s dependence on India as a “long-standing ally” for economic gains, trade, education, and tourism. She expressed hope that the derogatory comments were an isolated incident and called on the Maldivian government to take decisive action against those responsible, preventing such expressions in the future.

In response to the social media posts, the Maldivian government suspended the three ministers responsible — Maryam Shiuna, Malsha Shareef, and Mahzoom Majid. The government stated that individuals in government positions who engage in such behavior on social media face suspension. This move signals a commitment to rectify the situation and maintain diplomatic decorum.

During Prime Minister Narendra Modi's state visit to the Maldives, India  and Maldives have agreed to intensify economic and cultural relations.

Source: Vajiram IAS

Tensions between India and Maldives have escalated since the election of President Mohamed Muizzu, viewed as a pro-China leader. Muizzu, who is currently on a state visit to China, previously advocated for the withdrawal of Indian troops from the Maldives, citing security concerns. The strained relations highlight the geopolitical complexities in the region, requiring careful diplomatic navigation to ensure mutual understanding and cooperation.


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