Lakshadweep becomes an island of unrest - Special interview with an island resident

Last Updated: Monday, 7 June 2021 (22:11 IST)
:- Biju Gopinathan

The central government has not reacted to reports that extremely inhumane acts are taking place in Lakshadweep. The Center has denied the allegations against Praful Patel. But Abu Salih, a resident of Lakshadweep, says the island's people are fighting for freedom and survival. Abu, a graduate student, was explaining to Webdunia Malayalam about the crisis they are facing.
Problems start with the new administration. The day after the death of the old administrator, became the new administrator. The first step was to remove all anti-posters. All anti-BJP posters and banners were removed and action was taken against those who put them up.
The new administrator did not like the posters set up against the BJP and in protest of the National Citizenship Act. It was all removed. Those boards whose place they were sitting were prosecuted and fined. Only pictures of Modi and pro-BJP posters are everywhere. The rest was being removed,  - said Abu Salih.
 
With the arrival of Praful Patel, a number of changes began to take place. Road width increased. The goal is radical urbanization. Changes were made accordingly. None of these decisions are discussed here. Drafts brought from the Center are being implemented here. While everyone was scared during this corona, the administrator was busy implementing changes related to tourism. Everything seemed to be decided in advance.
 
We are not against tourism. There was tourism earlier. But we disagrees with tourism, which has destroyed the culture of this place and made life miserable for the people. Our demand is that they do not invade our privacy and do not bring projects for tourism in populated areas. Uninhabited areas are already being used for tourism. We do not disagree with that. 
 
They are aiming for full-fledged business opportunities here. Over the years, many of the coastal areas inhabited by fishermen have been evacuated. The new amendment is intended by the administrator to evacuate other residences as well. The houses of the poor people here will have to be demolished. If not, you will have to pay a large fine. The protest is against such moves. Abu said that everything including electricity is being privatized.
 
The boat sheds of the fishing workers were all demolished. The boats were damaged. The fishermen are in great distress. The livelihood is disappearing. They see those protesting against the National Citizenship Amendment as traitors. They fear the relationship between Kerala and Lakshadweep. Therefore, moves are being made to close the island's connection with Kerala. The outside world knew that this was happening when protests erupted from Kerala.
 
Meats were given one day a week in schools. All this was banned. It does not contradict any other meat dishes. Chicken and stuff are still available. They have a problem with Beef - said Abu Salih.