Hashtag #SaveLakshadweep has gained momentum on social media as citizens, celebrities, and politicians protest against the measures suggested by Administrator Praful Khoda Patel. According to the people’s representatives, no public consultations were held before the new measures were brought on by Patel.
The citizens wrote to the administration and demanded that the proposed regulations be withdrawn.
What are the measures suggested in reforms for Lakshadweep?
- A draft detention law named Prevention of Anti-Social Activities was introduced. If implemented the administration would be able to detain anyone without public disclosure for up to one year.
- The Lakshadweep Animal Preservation Regulation 2021 was introduced. If implemented, the slaughter of cows, calves, bulls, and bullocks will be banned.
- If implemented, a draft Development Authority Regulation will allow the government to take any piece of land owned by a person for “development” purposes.
- Measures to divert all cargo to Mangalore were introduced. The measure was opposed as the majority of the local businessmen relied on a port in Kerala, a state that has strong cultural ties to the locals.
- Even though the islands are non-alcoholic zones, Praful Khoda Patel aims to promote tourism by allowing businesses to open liquor bars. The decision was opposed by the locals.
Celebrities Who Spoke Up About Lakshadweep
The Malayalam actor, television anchor and dancer Ansiba Hassan took to Instagram and posted about Lakshadweep. Hassan’s post described it as “a beautiful island with innocents” and asked that people support the islanders.
Actor Rajisha Vijayan appears in Malayalam and Tamil films. She took to Instagram and posted an image that read “Save Lakshadweep”. Her caption said that “this beautiful island needs our help”.
Actor and director Geetu Mohandas took to Facebook and Instagram to voice her views. She said that “Please do not disturb their [islanders] peace, disrupt their ecosystem, their innocence. Not in the name of development [sic].”
Actor Rima Kallingal took to Facebook to speak up about the issue. She said the government’s “complete disregard for the Lakshadweep people, their beliefs and their livelihood” was scary.