Boycott Maldives : Rising Celeb Support : John Abraham and Akshay Kumar Advocate Domestic Tourism, #BoycottMaldives
New Delhi, 07 Jan (City Times) : Boycott Maldives : Inception of Controversy: The serene beauty of Maldives faced a storm as Maldivian politician Zahid Rameez and minister Mariyam Shiuna ignited a social media firestorm with their racist remarks aimed at Indians. Their derogatory comments, including mocking Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s endorsement of Lakshadweep as a tourist destination, fueled a massive backlash, leading to the hashtag #BoycottMaldives trending on various platforms.
Celebrities Join the Movement:
The controversy prompted a swift response from Indian celebrities, including Bollywood actor John Abraham, who showcased the pristine beauty of Lakshadweep and encouraged domestic tourism. Meanwhile, Akshay Kumar expressed surprise at the hateful comments from Maldivian figures, urging Indians to rally behind their nation’s tourism. The social media outrage extended to individuals canceling planned trips to the Maldives in protest.
Impact on Travel Plans:
Social media echoed with disappointed travelers announcing cancellations of their Maldives trips. Some users shared that they had almost finalized their travel arrangements but chose to abandon their plans in the wake of the controversial tweets by Maldivian leaders. The trending hashtag #BoycottMaldives became a symbol of collective dissent against the anti-India sentiments expressed by political figures.
Unveiling the Anti-India Remarks
Zahid Rameez’s Accusations:
Zahid Rameez, a member of the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), accused India of imitating Sri Lanka, labeling it as an attempt to profit from a smaller economy. The tweets, laced with derogatory comments, expressed dissatisfaction with India’s attempts to compete with the Maldives. Rameez, in a controversial move, even questioned India’s ability to match the Maldives in cleanliness and service quality.
Mariyam Shiuna’s Derogatory Language:
Minister Mariyam Shiuna added fuel to the fire by calling Prime Minister Modi a “clown” and a “puppet” in now-deleted posts on social media. The derogatory language used by Shiuna drew significant criticism, resulting in the removal of the offensive tweets. Former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed condemned these remarks, emphasizing India’s pivotal role as a “key ally” for the security and prosperity of the Maldives.
Diplomatic Fallout and Nasheed’s Intervention
Diplomatic Tensions and Nasheed’s Response:
The controversial statements triggered diplomatic tensions, prompting former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed to step in. Nasheed denounced the language used by Maldivian leaders, labeling it as “appalling.” He highlighted India’s significance as a key ally for the security and prosperity of the Maldives, attempting to ease the escalating situation.
Amidst the chaos, a retrospective analysis revealed that the provocative tweets from Maldivian leaders were in response to PM Modi’s visit to Lakshadweep and the subsequent attention garnered by the picturesque island. The leaders expressed concern about potential competition in the tourism sector and questioned India’s ability to match the Maldives’ standards.
Impact on Maldives Tourism:
The ‘Boycott Maldives’ movement has undoubtedly cast a shadow on the nation’s tourism industry. With social media influencers, celebrities, and regular travelers expressing their displeasure, the incident highlights the power of public opinion in shaping travel trends. The Maldivian leaders’ derogatory remarks risk alienating a significant source of tourism revenue from India.
As the diplomatic fallout unfolds, the need for reconciliation becomes apparent. Former President Nasheed’s condemnation of the derogatory language suggests an internal division in the Maldives regarding the anti-India sentiments. The path to diplomatic resolution and rebuilding a positive image remains uncertain but crucial for the Maldives’ international relations.
In conclusion, the ‘Boycott Maldives’ movement underscores the influence of social media in shaping public opinion and impacting tourism. The incident serves as a reminder of the delicate nature of international relations and the interconnectedness of global sentiments in the digital age.