Maldives vs Lakshadweep Controversy | Who is Wrong?

News Vale
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Greetings, friends!

On the 4th of January, 2024, Prime Minister Modi shared pictures from Lakshadweep on his social media handles. What seemed like a harmless post sparked a chain of events that put the longstanding friendship between India and the Maldives at risk. This article aims to delve into the complexities of the controversy and its roots in geopolitical dynamics.

The Social Media Storm:

The absence of mention of the Maldives in PM Modi's Lakshadweep pictures triggered a disproportionate reaction from some Maldivian politicians. This reaction escalated quickly, leading to the trending hashtag #BoycottMaldives on social media. Three Maldivian ministers—Mariyam Shiuna, Malsha Shareef, and Abdullah Mahzoom Majid—were at the center of the controversy. Their inflammatory comments, laced with personal attacks against India and PM Modi, fueled the social media conflict.

Diplomatic Damage Control:

As the #BoycottMaldives movement gained momentum, Indians started canceling travel plans, prompting the Maldivian Foreign Ministry to intervene. They clarified that the ministers' opinions were personal and did not represent the government's stance. Subsequently, the three ministers were suspended. However, the issue went beyond a mere social media war; it exposed deeper geopolitical undercurrents.

Understanding the Geopolitical Landscape:

Maldives, with a population of around 500,000, heavily depends on tourism, constituting 28% of its GDP. India, being the primary source of tourists, shares a robust strategic alliance with Maldives, extending to military cooperation. India's Neighbourhood First Policy, launched in 2008, strengthened ties with neighboring countries, including Maldives. However, internal political shifts in Maldives have strained this relationship.

Internal Politics: A Rollercoaster Ride:

Maldives transitioned from a 30-year dictatorship to a multi-party democracy in 2008. The subsequent years saw alternating political powers and foreign policy shifts. The MDP government, led by President Mohamed Nasheed, bolstered ties with India, seeking military aid in 2009. However, the 2013 election brought the PPM party to power, altering the geopolitical landscape. Anti-India sentiments rose, leading to a tilt towards China and participation in the Belt and Road Initiative.

India's Diplomatic Efforts:

In 2018, with the return of the MDP to power, India-Maldives relations regained stability. The India First approach was reinstated, and strategic agreements were signed. However, the lack of transparency regarding certain agreements fueled opposition sentiments. The subsequent change in power in 2023 saw the PPM party, advocating the India Out campaign, coming back to the forefront.

Current Controversy: A Political Chess Game:

President Mohamed Muizzu, who assumed office in 2023, intensified the India Out narrative. Hateful comments against India and PM Modi surfaced, echoing sentiments from the opposition. This controversy unfolded against a backdrop of evolving geopolitical alliances, including Maldives' shift towards China.


The India-Maldives controversy is a manifestation of internal political struggles and changing geopolitical alliances. The ongoing India Out sentiment reflects a delicate balance influenced by domestic politics. As the situation unfolds, it becomes evident that the hashtag #BoycottMaldives goes beyond a mere social media trend, shedding light on the intricate web of international relations and political maneuvers.

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In a world where geopolitics intertwines with social media, it is crucial to navigate these complexities with a discerning eye, ensuring that dialogue and diplomacy prevail over divisive rhetoric.