Dispelling The Myths
Some vested interests are raising a hue and cry over unsubstantiated issues pertaining to Lakshadweep. They have alleged that the Administration in Lakshadweep unilaterally lifted restrictions on the use of alcohol in the Muslim-majority islands, banned beef products, citing animal preservation, and demolished fishermen’s sheds built on the coastal areas, saying they violated the Coast Guard Act. But the truth is otherwise as they are protesting because the Administrator of Lakshadweep Praful Patel, a man of perseverance, who never compromises with moral and ethical values. took certain steps to end the corrupt practices of politicians in the islands. The Administration is proactively considering the larger public interest. Against this backdrop, it is worth mentioning that although the local people are happy with the Administration, an atmosphere of tension has been created through the media and social media by certain fundamentalist groups operating from Kerala. Unfortunately, these politicians are playing to the tunes of such outfits without realising the truth. Talking about the widely criticised proposal to bring change in panchayat regulation that proposes to not allow people with more than two children to participate in the election, it is to be pointed out that the rule will not apply to people who already have more than two children. Only parents of such children born after the date of implementation of the regulation will be barred from contesting. Another contentious reform is the move to ban beef in the islands. Here it cannot be gainsaid that it is a policy decision. What is easily available on Lakshadweep are fish items and the Administration has not deleted non-veg items from the mid-day meals in schools and is providing fish and egg items. This is because they are easily available during the present lockdown period. Hence, only those with illegal businesses are propagating a propaganda against cow protection laws. What is more, the cow slaughter ban is implemented in several states, and it is not a law made by Praful Patel. It is a law of the land.
On the alleged move to allow alcohol distribution in the Lakshadweep Islands, the permission for opening bars in the islands is given to attract foreign tourists, and it is allowed in resorts only. The Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Regulation 2021 is enforced against certain miscreants, as Lakshadweep is a strategically important place. Talking about the draft proposal on the Lakshadweep Development Authority Act, it is noteworthy that even after 73 years of Independence, development is low in Lakshadweep, even internet facilities are inadequate. In this perspective, Lakshadweep being an island destination, a tourist hub, the Administration is leaving no stone unturned to put it on the path of development, as has been mentioned in details in one of our stories. In fact, the Administration has started continuous work for the prosperity and bright future of all its citizens, especially fishermen, women and youth of Lakshadweep, who, in the past were left behind in the race for development. Hence, the day is not far-off when growth trajectory will push Lakshadweep on the global horizon.
By Deepak Kumar Rath