Explained: What is the present situation in Lakshadweep?

The name Lakshadweep means “one lakh islands”, actually Lakshadweep comprises 36 islands of a total of 32 square kilometres. It is India’s smallest union territory. Only 10 of its islands are inhabited with a total of approximately 70,000 population.

Lakshadweep is one of the most beautiful islands in India, nowhere in India we can see the level of biodiversity, wildlife and nature found in these islands. In Indian mainland cities, you can see garbage everywhere but here you cannot find it.

But, when we hear news about Lakshadweep on every news channel, it makes us know what’s happening in Lakshadweep?

Politically in Lakshadweep, they do not have a legislative assembly or chief minister. Their political framework only of 3 levels, who is responsible for the governance of Lakshadweep islands.

  • There is an member of parliament in loksabha from Lakshadweep. ( At present Mohammad Faisal from NCP ).
  • Self government( like panchayats).
  • An administrator appointed from the president.

Till 2020, Dineshwar Sharma (IAS officer) was the administrator of Lakshadweep. Before him there were several civil service officers who became the administrators it the position only given to bureaucrats. But on 4th December 2020, Dineshwar Sharma passed away. After that, instead of appointing ips or ias officers, a politician from BJP was appointed as the administrator of Lakshadweep. There the name comes praful khoda patel, he started his political career in gujrat as an MLA in 2007. In 2010, when amit shah was arrested by the CBI, Praful Patel was appointed the minister of state home affairs by Narendra Modi.

In 2014, he was appointed as the administrator of Daman and Diu union territory when narendra modi became prime minister. In damn and Diu aslo there is tradition of appointing ips and ias officers as a administrator but now politician was appointed.

After that, in 2016 dadra and Nagar haveli also came under administration of praful patel. And now added third one that is Lakshadweep. Isn’t  it there will be a scarcity of good bureaucrats?

In 2019, 90 houses were demolished in daman and diu (mostly in daman) that were on sea front land. After they said it done for the progress. Mp of daman requested collector to restore the houses that were demolished. But collector said that people who list their homes can apply for awas yojna of the prim minister. There were protest all over and two of the schools are converted to temporary jail to stop protesters.

Now, we will come to Lakshadweep, Praful Patel has announced a slew of draft laws which have upset the people of Lakshadweep and they are protesting for his resignation. Which laws are they and why people so upset with that?

Lakshadweep authority development regulation draft – this regulation empowers the government to constitute planning and development authority under it to plan the development of any area identifying as having a bad layout or obsolete development, only cantonment area are exempted from this draft. This law allows the Praful Patel to take over any piece of land on the island, the owner of that piece of land cannot object to this and will be penalized if he or she doesn’t do as told. The draft also added that the development plan shall not, either before or after it has been approved be questioned in any manner in any legal proceedings whatsoever.

Animal preservation regulation – This law brings a ban on beef, if you see the culture of people living in Lakshadweep is similar to Kerala and the island has more than 90 % of Malayali  Muslim. So traditionally they eat beef as part of the culture. So even though they know it is part of the culture of people living there, a beef ban still imposing on them.

As per the law, no person shall directly or indirectly sell, keep, store beef or buy beef products in any form anywhere on islands and there are heavy penalties from 10 years in jail to a 5 lakh rupees fine.

The administrator has also made school meals completely vegetarian, this in a place surrounded by the ocean and dependent on a seafood-based diet. Amazing move right? Lol.

Prevention of anti-social activities – also known as anti goonda act. It was introduced in January 2021. If the police catch someone doing anything wrong they arrest the person, the person has to trial in court, it is the court that decides if the person is guilty or not. But in Lakshadweep, the act says that it allows detention of any person without public disclosure for up to one year.

What made sense behind it? Some people say the crime rate will be raised, and those who question the government will be arrested. Did you the crime rate in Lakshadweep islands are the lowest in the entire country. So for whose benefits it is being introduced? It doesn’t make any sense if the crime rate is high because these laws are against the principle of natural justice and democracy.

Lakshadweep panchayat raj rules – the little democracy that remained with the people living in Lakshadweep that too had taken forcefully. other than electing an MP once in five years they can elect officials only at the panchayat level, from panchayats five powers from different areas were taken away. the sectors which are snatched from the panchayats are education, animal husbandry, fisheries, education, agriculture.

And second new panchayat regulation is passed that ” no person shall be a member of gram Panchayat or continue as such who has more than two children”

Other than these regulations there are few more regulations that are imposed:

The liquor laws in Lakshadweep have been relaxed for tourism purposes, so resorts in populated Islands will be allowed to supply liquor; earlier, there was only one liquor store in one of the islands of Lakshadweep. The prevention of liquor was due to cultural reason. Nobody can enter without a permit on Lakshadweep Islands, so it’s not like if you start selling liquor, many tourists will come.

CPM Member of parliament from Kerala alleges that Patel demolished several boats’ sheds of the local fishermen and says that the administration has declared that islanders should no longer depend on Baipur, Kerala for the freight transit they should depend on Mangalore which is in Karnataka for this purpose.

Till January 2021, Lakshadweep was the only place in India that had zero cases of covid-19. As of 25 May 2021 within five months Lakshadweep has gone from zero cases to more than 7000 cases and 26 death’s, this happened because Praful Khoda Patel issued a new regulation stated that all those who are entering the islands just needed to produce negative RT-PCR text report and we all know great they are, this allows the spread of coronavirus inside the islands. Earlier there was a strict 7-days quarantine in place for anyone who was coming into and going off the islands.

In our country, there were a group of islands where people are very well educated. There is no air pollution, no garbage problem and clean and beautiful beaches, no crimes, no problem of population, and no problems related to covid-19 until recently. The people living there mostly depends on fishing and their methods are sustainable manner. other than this there is a little bit of tourism. The beauty of the islands are like paradise and people live there with harmony and peace. Suddenly, this man Praful Patel came to these islands in the name of development, he went on to implement laws and cause troubles to inhabitants and damaging their indigenous culture, properties. Snatching powers from panchayats.

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