The situation emerging in Lakshadweep is a matter of deep concern for the whole of India and Arunachal in particular. Lakshadweep’s newly-appointed administrator, Praful Khoda Patel is in the middle of a political storm due to some of his recent decisions which have caused discontent in the Muslim-majority islands. Patel was a minister when PM Narendra Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat. After taking over as administrator, he has taken several decisions which hurt the sentiments of the indigenous population of Lakshadweep. This is a brazen attempt to impose outside culture into the region.
Patel’s administration has proposed the Lakshadweep Animal Preservation Regulation, 2021, which bans the slaughter of cows, calves, bulls and bullocks. Under the regulation, the sale and purchase of beef and beef products are banned. Also, the new draft Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation proposes changes in the existing land ownership and usage. It allows the government to use any land for development activities, such as building, engineering, mining and quarrying. The selling of liquor too has been allowed. Lakshadweep is a Muslim majority region where consumption of meat, including beef, is high. Now the administration is trying to curtail the rights of the indigenous population. Further, the decision to give a free hand to the government to use any land for development activities, particularly mining and quarrying, is fraught with danger. The local indigenous people will lose the rights over their land. What is happening in Lakshadweep is a matter of serious concern for Arunachal. There are a lot of similarities between the island of Lakshadweep and Arunachal. The people of the state need to remain alert to what is happening in Lakshadweep.