Why the DMK, MDMK in Tamil Nadu, left and Muslim parties in Kerala, Samajwadi in Uttar Pradesh, Mamta’s TMC are making loud noise and demanding the recall of new reforms initiated by Lakshadweep Administrator Praful Patel? The thin thread that connects them all is their concern for the Muslims who are dominant on the Island and the local support for smuggling of arms, gold and narcotic drugs as they fear losing the alleged share of cut money from them.
Lakshadweep ( one lakh islands in Malayalam) is the smallest it is being called the ‘gateway of Kerala’. The union territory of Bharat. There are 36 islands in the Arabian that forms part of this UT. Its total surface area is around 32 km. The lagoon area covers about 4,200 km, the territorial waters are area 20,000 km. Kavaratti is the capital of this UT. It falls under the jurisdictional limit of the Kerala High Court. In the Medieval period, the region was ruled by the Chera and Chola dynasties and finally the Kingdom of Kannur.
The Catholic, Portuguese landed here in 1498 but were thrown out in 1545. Muslim house of Arakkal, who were vassals to the Kolathiri Rajas of Kannur followed by Tipu Sultan. After his death, most of the region came under British rule and with their departure, it became a union territory in 1956. The Islands have no aboriginal inhabitants. 90 per cent of the tribals have been converted to Muslims ( Shafi school of the Sunni sect). The inhabitants, uneducated, are ethnically similar to the Malayalis. Most people speak Malayalam. The main occupation of the people is fishing and coconut cultivation with tuna being the main item of export. Lakshadweep found mention in Sangam era Tamil literature. When it attained freedom nearly half of the population was Hindus. Over years they were forced to embrace Islam due to various reasons. Now only 2.5 per cent are Hindus and the remaining are Muslims. Here they follow Shariat laws and the Mulla or moulis or jamaats is the jury. Despite a lot of murders, none was jailed or sentenced. it is a safe operating ground for Pakistan’s ISI and terrorist. Kerala’s Mallapuram Muslims are having close links with them and act on their diktats. They treat it as a separate Islamic nation.
When Manmohan Sing was PM ( in 2010), efforts were made to install a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the capital town Kavaratti, locals opposed the same saying it would affect the sentiments of Muslims. We can’t have statue for Father of Nation ( Desh Pitha) Mahatma Gandhi in his own country. Such was the scenario there. The statue was brought back to Kochi.
There have been reports of gold, narcotics drugs and arms smuggling, as it is the first port of call before entering Kerala waters, the ships are learnt to have unloaded the contraband in the islands. It is a safe haven for such activities. It is alleged that alcohol and drug addiction in the last few years is in the rise. Recently the navy seized a ship with contrabands. In December last Praful Patel ordered 18 raids across the UT to fight the growing drug and alcohol menace. The administration had pulled down Anti Citizen Amendment Act posters put up by radical Islamists outfits throughout the Island. Patel has proposed infrastructure development projects which are aimed at boosting tourism and jobs in the Island. The left and Muslims fear as it will spoil their control.
Before Patel, Civil servants were appointed as administrators. Praful, who was a minister in Modi’s cabinet in Gujarat and is very close to the PM. So the left and Muslims see his actions through tinted glass and are up in arms against him. They have been demanding his recall and withdrawing the new measures initiated by him. According to political commentator, Venkatadri said that the island have become a vulnerable and security important region. “It is safe hiding place for ISIS terrorists. Indian Coast Guard recently intercepted a boat off Minicoy islands and seized Rs.3,000 crore plus drugs and arms. In March 5 of this year, the coast guard with the help of aircraft surrounded a Srilankan origin boat and seized a large quantity high grade heroine and hashish in powder form. Last November, another Sri Lankan boat ‘’Vaibhav’’ was found carrying narcotic drugs 120 k g worth around Rs 1,000 crore in the international market. In the last year, the total confiscated contraband by Coast Guard was 1.6 ton worth around 5,000 crores.
What surprises me is the without the help of the locals, such activities can’t be carried out”. Explaining further, he said “ the next questions for whom they are working. The tribals should not have such wealth and wherewithal to smuggle arms, narcotic drugs in large quantities. It is assumed that some political parties, which raise objections, could be behind this. it is a hub for smuggling and there is a well-oiled network is operating it as a base. The contrabands are meant for Islamic fundamentalists, which if true, can pose serious danger to the security of the nation. The ship would offload the contra bond here which will be dispatched to Kerala, Sri Lanka and other parts by small boats.
Moreover, it is near to the Maldives, it gets additional importance as a strategic one. Bharat has to use it a watchtower to stop the prying eyes of China which is active in Maldives chaos and to protect the western side of the country. It is the thinking of the Centre to take the reforms in the UT”. Another journalist Srinivas pointed out that Modi has been strengthening the infrastructures of North East, Ladak, Sikkim, which are near China territory. In Lakshadweep, on one side Islamic fundamentalists, another side drug mafia and another side China’s activities. So it has become a strategically important zone . With this in view, Praful Patel was brought in and strict reforms are being implemented. The stand and actions of locals of these UT are posing threats to country’s sovereignty and integrity while being part of the Bharat ”. The Muslims are most worried about the ban on candidates with more than two children from contesting panchayat polls. This is in vogue in several states.
Some say the bunch of contentious regulations will threaten the upend both lives and ecology in this paradise. Congress MP Rahul Gandhi says steps to be taken to save Lakshadweep Island. Former union minister P Chidambaram says harsh measures are not needed as it is UT without zero crime rate and what was your hate against 70000 Muslims, he questioned. The DMK and Congress, which ceded its rights in Kachcha Theeve, a strategic importance island, belonged Ramnad Sethupathy, now cries foul for the Lakshadweep issue. Now the say they want to redeem the same from Sri Lanka. Indira Gandhi had given this to Sri Lanka, without approval from parliament. While locals do not oppose the new measures, but politicians like M K Stalin, Vaiko, Thol Thirumavalavan only want the recall of Praful Patel. From the south, DMK and allies were only one opposed the repeal of article 370 .
Rahul Gandhi, Kerala CM Pinrayi Vijayan, West Bengal CM Mamta Bannerjee, Samajwadi Party are echoing the same demand. What was their interest in discarding the nation’s safety and sovereignty. What was the link with the smuggling mafia? That’s how one connect the dots. When Rajiv Gandhi was Prime Minister, he enjoyed his vocation with his Italian born wife, and their relatives in the Indian Navy ship compromising nation’s security with foreigner on board in naval ships in Lakshadweep. The Italians took photos and videos which were prohibited. The same Congress party now questions measures taken by the Administrator. But these political parties and social media activists call Patel as “ fascist”. TN CM M K Stalin has urged the PM to recall the Lakshadweep administrator for forcibly bring in ‘ anti-people’ regulations to alienate Muslims living there which is causing anguish.
Meanwhile, the Kerala High Court on 28th declined to stay the implementation of the draft Lakshadweep development authority regulation 2021 and the anti -social activities act introduced by the Administration.