India-Maldives: From Idyllic Beaches to Diplomatic Tensions, Read Full Here

Moreover, in this India Maldives controversy, the Minister of External Affairs Mr. S. Jaishankar on 13 Jan stated that "politics is politics" and it can't be guaranteed that every country will support or agree with India.

India-Maldives: From Idyllic Beaches to Diplomatic Tensions, Read Full Here

The serene turquoise waters of the Maldives, a haven for luxury tourism, recently witnessed a ripple of diplomatic discord with India. This unexpected tension arose from social media barbs directed at Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Lakshadweep, a neighboring Indian archipelago.

The Spark: A Controversial Post and Escalating Tweets

On January 4, 2024, PM Modi shared pictures from his Lakshadweep trip, promoting the island's natural beauty and cultural heritage. This seemingly innocuous post ignited a firestorm on Twitter when Mariyam Shiuna, Maldivian Deputy Minister of Youth Empowerment, responded with a derogatory remark aimed at the Prime Minister.

Shiuna's tweet, now deleted, sparked outrage among Indian netizens, triggering a wave of counter-criticisms and calls for boycotting the Maldives. The situation escalated further when other Maldivian officials joined the fray with offensive comments, leading to demands for their removal.

Swift Diplomatic Action and Damage Control

India responded swiftly to these developments. The Indian High Commissioner to the Maldives lodged a formal protest with the Maldivian government, emphasizing the unacceptable nature of the remarks. Earlier the External Affairs Ministry in New Delhi summoned the Maldivian envoy, seeking official clarification and action against the offending officials.

The Maldivian government acknowledges the seriousness of the situation, distanced itself from the ministers' comments, clarifying that they did not reflect the official stance. Notably, all three ministers involved – Shiuna, Malsha Shareef, and Abdulla Mahzoom Majid – were suspended from their respective positions.

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Beyond the Tweets: Underlying Tensions and Geopolitical Factors

While the immediate trigger was the social media spat, several deeper currents contributed to the recent tension. These include: Lakshadweep Development and its Potential Impact on the Maldives: Lakshadweep's recent focus on infrastructure development and tourism promotion has raised concerns in the Maldives about potential competition for tourist dollars.

Geopolitical Rivalry: The Maldives occupies a strategic location in the Indian Ocean, making it a key player in the ongoing geopolitical rivalry between India and China. Some analysts view the recent incident as a possible manifestation of this larger contest.

Domestic Politics: Internal political dynamics in both India and the Maldives could have played a role in amplifying the issue.

Moving Forward: De-escalation and Dialogue

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What are the recent updates on India and Maldives?

The president of Maldives Mohamed Muizzu called on India and gave time till March 15 to withdraw its military personnel from his country. Accordingly, there are 88 Indian personnel in the Maldives.

Moreover, in this India Maldives controversy, the Minister of External Affairs Mr. S. Jaishankar on 13 Jan stated that "politics is politics" and it can't be guaranteed that every country will support or agree with India.

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