Lies and only lies in the Lakshadweep Muslim-narrative by Congress
Lakshadweep, which often makes headlines for its scenic beauty and tranquillity, has now been dragged into a political controversy.
The communist parties, for the past few months, is trying to build up a narrative that the Central government is planning to attack Muslim-dominated tropical paradise.
Administrator Praful Khoda Patel, a former Gujarat Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Minister who took charge in December last year, is at the centre of stringent criticism for introducing draft legislation that will have a wide-ranging impact on the islands: the Lakshadweep Animal Preservation Regulation, 2021; the Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Regulation (PASA); the Lakshadweep Panchayat Regulation, 2021 and Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation 2021.
But it is pertinent to note that the apprehensions are without basis. There lies a vast difference in myths those proposals carry and the fact behind them
Narrative- Beef is banned in Lakshadweep.
Fact- Beef isn’t banned in Lakshadweep. Shreejit Panikkar, while giving official substances, clarified that it is removed from the midday meal scheme in school along with other meats. The ‘Lakshadweep Animal Preservation Regulation, 2021’ doesn’t ban beef rather advocates the prohibition of bovine slaughter.
Narrative- Goonda act has been invoked to intimidate people and institute a reign of terror.
Fact- Praful Khoda himself cleared that fact the Goonda, as well as POCSO act, are invoked in the union territory to keep a check on increasing illegal activities.
Collector S Asker Ali said that youth is being misguided, and these rules are meant to prevent them.
“A few days ago, 300 kg of heroin with an international value of Rs 3,000 crore and five AK-47 rifles and 1,000 live rounds were confiscated. Many cases of illegal smuggling of marijuana, liquor and POCSO cases have been reported. The future of the youth is likely to be clouded by illegal businesses. Keeping this in mind, strict and stringent laws are needed so that youth are not misguided. People having vested interests in illegal businesses are propagating (protest) against imposition of strict laws.” he had said in an interview.
Narrative- Liquor shops and bars are being opened on the island, in direct contravention of Islamic law.
Fact- UT Collector said that permission would be given only at “selected tourist establishments only for tourists,” not for islanders.
Narrative- If Land Development Initiatives are implemented, locals will lose their land.
Fact- To push the infrastructure development, the administration needs some land. However, Draft Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation, 2021 explicitly mention that land acquisition will be done by law and not by force.
Narrative- Diversion of all cargo to Mangalore will severely hit the business
Fact- The major thing is it is not an official order rather an informal suggestion to regulate sea traffic as it has become a major threat to security.
Recently, in March, a ship allegedly Pakistani freighter was detained carrying a thousand crore drugs by the joint team in the Laccadive Sea.
In 2013, the Kerala government itself, which is currently trying to paint the protest with communal colour, warned the central government to regulate the sea traffic between the islands and the mainland.
Beyond that, in 2019, ISIS terrorists ran from Sri Lanka headed to Lakshadweep, considering it as a “safe place.”
But it is worth noting why would ISIS terrorists consider Lakshadweep a safe haven?
Narrative- Banning those with more than two children from contesting panchayat elections is solely done to keep Muslims out of panchayat politics.
Fact- It is important to see this measure as an effort to encourage family planning and population control at the grass-roots level, and several other states have already adopted this two-child policy.
However, Congress is trying to add an anti-Muslim narrative to it. Congress PM Niyas, in a debate, openly said that Hindutva is behind this chaos in Lakshadweep.
Beyond that, Collector S Asker Ali made it clear that the provision will only be applicable to the parents of infants born after the due date of notification and not the entire population of the union territory.
Narrative- Buildings used by fishermen have been demolished, and with the Introduction of the anti-social Activities Regulation Bill, 2021administration will detain anyone
Fact - Manorma TV, in their exclusive footage of May 27, showed that the only demolition that is taken place is of the illegal buildings constructed in high tidal zones.
The anguished people are demanding the government to give them alternative facilities. However, it was them who, in the first place has constructed illegal buildings.
(This is a curated version of the piece which appeared in Swarajyamag)
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