Lakshadweep, an archipelago of 36 islands in the Arabian Sea has stunning natural beauty, diverse flora and fauna, sandy beaches, exotic marine life and staggering array of corals making it every man or woman’s visual fantasy. As per the latest data, there are no aboriginal inhabitants in the islands with 90 percent of tribals converting to Islam. 97.5 percent of the population are followers of Islam and 2.5 percent are practising Hindus. They live harmoniously engaged in fishing, coconut cultivation and export of tuna.
In 1987, Lakshadweep found itself in the middle of a political storm involving Rajiv Gandhi and INS Viraat that died a quick death after explosive revelations threatening the integrity of the country saw the Gandhis losing power soon after the Bofors scandal of the 1990s. However, Lakshadweep continued to be the backyard for the Gandhis for years to come.
Now let us move forward to 2014 – 2019, the NDA Government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi found an ingenious way to tackle increasing incidents of stone pelting, rampant heroin smuggling and addiction and recruitment for anti-national activities in Jammu and Kashmir. As recruits were getting only younger (as young as 5 years old) and prone to drug addiction, a two-pronged approach was devised by the four political grandmasters. First, was the demonetization in 2016 which crippled the smuggling operations and drastically reduced the stone pelting incidents and second, was the abrogation of Article 370 and 35A in 2019 which effectively paralyzed all smuggling and anti-national operations running from within the country and across the border.
A slew of measures like Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015, GST, Labour Laws, CAA (would have been better to title it as Refugees Bill, but perhaps some legality prevented it), Farm Laws and decisive action on national security threats (Surgical strikes, Balakot air strikes, Doklam and Galwan Valley to mention a few) followed sending the insurgents crawling back to the dark hole they came out of.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj had once famously said, “It is easier to understand the machinations of your enemy who is ready to do battle with you than those of traitors who are in your midst.” And true to form, certain political parties like the Congress, AAP, SP, TMC and their leaders, the Gandhis, Arvind Kejriwal, Akhilesh Yadav and Didi and their stooges and kingmakers and conspirators behind the Google toolkit are the first to make a hue and cry for every pivotal decision to curb black money, illegal and anti-national activities.
But, what does Kashmir have to do with Lakshadweep? Let us first study the new measures introduced by Praful Khoda Patel, administrator of Lakshadweep.
- Lakshadweep administration published a draft bill titled the ‘Lakshadweep Prevention of Anti-social Activities Regulation 2021’ – the proposed law is the standard preventive detention law that is already existing in many states in India. Lakshadweep has the highest rate of crime against children and therefore, the Government as per the constitution is obliged to put punitive and preventive laws in place to maintain law and order. standard operating procedure that is common in states across India
- The Lakshadweep Prohibition Regulation 1979 bans liquor in the union territory, except in an uninhabited island for tourists. Proposed relaxation of prohibition rules will promote tourism and will be limited to supplying liquor to tourists in resorts in the inhabited islands. more tourism means more jobs
- The ‘Lakshadweep Animal Preservation Regulation, 2021′ was drafted proposing prohibition on slaughter of cows, calves and bulls. Male or female buffaloes can be slaughtered with a certificate regarding fitness from the authority. A ban on the sale and purchase of beef is proposed in this bill but buffalo meat is available. Interestingly, such a ban is already in place in several states and union territories in India as cow slaughter has been deemed unnecessary as it is important for agriculture and animal husbandry. nothing out of the ordinary as these are standard stipulations in laws across India
- ‘Draft Lakshadweep Panchayat Regulation, 2021’ which states that no man who has more than two children can be a member of a Gram Panchayat was proposed. Two-child policy is already in place in states like Odisha, Telangana, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra. it is imperative here as increasing population will seriously threaten the topography and physical geography of the union territory
Now, for the ugly truth behind this safe haven for smugglers, anti-nationals, extremist recruiters, radical outfits and illegal arms trade. As this is the first port of call before entering Kerala waters, ships sailing from Sri Lanka especially have been known to unload contraband in the islands. This has been going on for many years but the activities picked up pace post 2004. Civil servants who were in charge of the administration of the islands till 2020 were either blissfully ignorant or chose to turn a blind eye. Praful Khoda Patel, a close aide of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has worked actively to curb these activities through regular raids and seizures. The Navy, Coast Guard and senior officials of the local administration have been working overtime to fight this increasing drug and alcohol menace that has spread across the islands in the last decade at an alarming rate. Narcotics found in the searches conducted this year alone are worth Rs 3,000 crore plus. Gold and illegal arms with 1000 live rounds were also seized from a Sri Lankan fishing boat.
Besides this, Lakshadweep since 2004 has become a hub for illegal berthing of foreign vessels which is a huge concern for agencies. Ships suspiciously anchored close to Lakshadweep have been detected by the Customs Department.
It is unsurprising that the Gandhis, Kejriwal, Didi, Akhilesh and libtards, outfits that have given a whole new meaning to radicalism and extremism and commission agents operating from the mainland are up in arms over the new laws introduced in Lakshadweep.
Expansionist China is now actively encircling India from its proxies in Pakistan (widespread opium addiction plagues the country with the heads of state perennially doped out of their skulls), Sri Lanka (Hambantota Port), Bangladesh, Tibet and parts of Bhutan that it has encroached. The need of the hour is to protect Lakshadweep at all costs and prevent any infiltration by the Chinese through Sri Lanka and the Andaman Sea (reports have come in that China has been eyeing the Andaman and Nicobar Islands for sometime now and been testing the waters to enter).
As the flow of black money, illegal arms and drugs from all corners are being choked up by the measures introduced by the NDA Government, certain political families are now finding it difficult to fund their activities to create communal disharmony and civil unrest.
The real questions are:
Why is it that every time a decision is taken in the interest of national security, the usual suspects get all flustered? Isn’t is curious that rather than allow development in Lakshadweep, the usual suspects wish for things to remain status quo even though there is a genuine threat from China that now stands a mere 290 kms from Kanyakumari?
The murmurs against Prime Minister Narendra Modi by the usual suspects that started in the corridors of Lutyens and Khan Market have started getting louder as they are finding it difficult to play by the new rules of Nation First. It is indeed “curiouser and curiouser” that the usual suspects are trying their best to prop up the blue-eyed boy of Nagpur, Nitin Gadkari as a possible PM candidate through their proxy, Subramanian Swamy as they find him more amenable.
Written by Byomkesh Bakshi: Satyanweshi
*Disclaimer – Views are personal and based on data available on Government websites and official Press releases and not from newspapers, media outlets and TV channels.