Following a tweet by Prime Minister Narendra Modi sharing images from his trip to Lakshadweep, some politicians in the island nation made racist remarks on Twitter, which sparked calls to boycott the Maldives as a travel destination for Indians.
Shiuna, the Maldives’ deputy minister for youth empowerment, referred Prime Minister Modi as a “clown” and a “puppet of Israel” in a post on Twitter which has been now deleted.
Prominent Indian celebrities have taken to social media in the midst of the ongoing controversy surrounding a Maldives minister’s disparaging tweet about Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding his recent visit to Lakshadweep, urging people to consider the Indian archipelago as an alternative tourist destination.
The hashtag “explore Indian islands” gained popularity on social media when a number of A-list celebrities, including Salman Khan, John Abraham, Shraddha Kapoor, Kangana Ranaut, Akshay Kumar, and others, encouraged their followers to do the same.
Akshay Kumar reverted, “Came across comments from prominent public figures from Maldives passing hateful and racist comments on Indians. Surprised that they are doing this to a country that sends them the maximum number of tourists. We are good to our neighbors but why should we tolerate such unprovoked hate? I’ve visited the Maldives many times and always praised it, but dignity first. Let us decide to #ExploreIndianIslands and support our own tourism.
John Abraham wrote, With the amazing Indian hospitality, the idea of “Atithi Devo Bhava” and a vast marine life to explore. Lakshwadeep is the place to go. #exploreindianislands
Salman Khan tweeted, “It is so cool to see our Hon PM Narendrabhai Modi at the beautiful clean n stunning beaches of Lakshadweep, and the best part is that yeh hamare India mein hain.”
#ExploreIndianIslands will never forget the brilliant time we had while filming my very first film #Alaipayuthey at Andaman Islands. The snorkeling was breathtaking — incredibly beautiful, marine life that I’ve never seen anywhere else , as was the hospitality and the food. I remember snorkeling to my hearts content, while the rest worked hard with the dancing. Ha ha ha. Must visit and get addicted .
Randeep Hooda wrote, “India is so beautiful. Was over awed by the pristine beauty and the rich history of Andaman and Nicobar Islands while shooting the Kalapani chapter of Veer Savarkar’s life .. a must visit. #ExploreIndianIslands
Kangana Ranaut also reacted on Zahid Rameez’s racist comment. He is a member of the Progressive Party of Maldives Senate.
Others made a mimic,
The Maldives government suspended three deputy ministers on Sunday as the Indian high commission in Male started the protest. The three ministers are from Youth Ministery namely Malsha Shareef, Abdulla Mahzoom Majid, and Mariyam Shiuna.