India-Maldives row: How one image triggered a row: Exclusive
The insulting remarks made to Prime Minister Narendra Modi by Maldivan ministers triggered an India-Maldives row. A News Channel anchor reads the statement and asks the reporter to explain how the events unfolded. The reporter begins by saying Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Lakshadweep recently to inaugurate various development projects. In the meantime, he posted his image, which was taken on the beachside, and encouraged people to visit Lakshadweep. The Maldivan ministers made unacceptable comments after the image was posted.
TV Anchor: What were the comments?
Reporter: The deputy minister of youth empowerment, Mariyam Shiuna, said PM Modi is a “clown and puppet of Israel,” and with two other ministers joining, one of them said, “The move is great. However, the idea of competing with us is delusional. How can they provide the service we offer? How can they be so clean? The permanent smell in the rooms will be the biggest downfall,” said Abdulla Mazzom Mhajid. The third one is Zahid Rameez; “The aim is to promote Lakshadweep as a tourist destination alternative to the Maldives.”. The first two statements paved the way for the India-Maldives row, while the final statement had little impact.
`TV Anchor: What happened then?
Reporter: Indians responded strongly to the comments and even started the “Boycott Maldives” campaign on social media. Several Bollywood stars and sports stars also highlighted that Lakshadweep has all the amenities to replace the Maldives as a tourist destination for Indians. Sports star PV Sindhu said that she is planning to go to Lakshadweep with her family and stressed that it can replace the Maldives. Ease My trip suspended all flight bookings and rooms in response to the India-Maldives row. Several social media users also announced that they had cancelled their plans to visit the Maldives.
TV anchor: How did the government of the Maldives react?
Reporter: The President of the Maldives, Mohamed Muizzu, said that the views expressed by the ministers are personal and do not reflect the “views of the Maldives Government.”. The former president said, “Muizzu government must distance itself from these comments and give clear assurance to India that they do not reflect government policy.” Prominent people in the country, including the former president of UNGA and the foreign minister, also opposed the statement by three sitting ministers who are now suspended.
TV Anchor: How did the Indian Commission respond to the statements by the ministers, which led to the India-Maldives row?
Reporter: The Indian commission in the Maldives, objecting to the statement made by the ministers, highlighted the issue with the Maldivan Government
TV Anchor: Is there any connection between the Maldives President’s visiting China and these statements?
Reporter: Several media channels are discussing this. However, the current president came to power by running anti-India campaigns in his country; it needs to be reminded at this time that the campaign gained momentum when the former government led by Nasheed signed an agreement with India to develop the Thila Falu naval base.
TV anchor: How did the opposition react to this?
Reporter: The then-opposition began to spread rumours that India is going to set up a military base, which would undermine the sovereignty of the country
Anchor: When did the current president of the Maldives and the prime minister meet, and how was their interaction?
Reporter: They both met on December 1 during the climate summit in the UAE, though they chose Turkey as their foreign destination after the Maldivan president chose China as their foreign destination.
TV anchor: Thanks for reporting. The anchor then says to the audience that the India-Maldives row is unlikely to cool as of now.
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1. What gave way to the India-Maldives row?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was in Lakshadweep for the inauguration of several projects, posted his photo standing aside on the beach, responding to the fact that three ministers of the Maldivian government made derogatory comments that targeted the Prime Minister.
2. What were the comments?
Mariyam Shauna said that the Prime Minister is a clown and puppet of Israel, her counterpart Abdulla Mazzom Mhajid referring to the PM’s image
said the move is great but competing with us is delusional He questioned how they could provide the service we provide. How can they be clean? The permanent smell in the room will be the biggest downfall. Another minister, Zahid Rameez, said, “The aim is to promote Lakshadweep as an alternate tourist destination to Maldives” referring to the image of the PM beside the beach.
3. What was the response of the Maldives government to the comments?
The Government of the Maldives said that the views are personal and do not reflect the views of the Maldives Government.
4. Is the current President Mohammed Muizzu pro-China?
Mohammad Muizzu campaigned with an anti-India strategy and won the elections, Just after coming to power, he asked the Indian government to withdraw its troops from the island; this was the first sign of an India-Maldives row. Currently, he is on a visit to China, which is going to end on January 12.