Tuesday, July 16, 2024
HomeNews ReportsRajnath Singh unveils Lakshadweep's first Gandhi statue, was earlier opposed by local Muslim majority...

Rajnath Singh unveils Lakshadweep’s first Gandhi statue, was earlier opposed by local Muslim majority population: Details

A three-day festival was organised on the Islands as part of Gandhi Jayanti celebrations. The festival culminated on Saturday with the installation of Gandhi’s statue.

Rajnath Singh has unveiled the first Mahatma Gandhi statue in Lakshadweep on the occasion of the latter’s 152nd birth anniversary.

Earlier, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had informed that he is travelling to the Lakshadweep Islands to unveil the first ever statue of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi in the Union Territory.

A three-day festival was organised on the Islands as part of Gandhi Jayanti celebrations. The festival culminated on Saturday with the installation of Gandhi’s statue.

As per a report published in Indian Express, the figurine installed in Kavaratti Island is a six-foot tall bronze statue of Gandhi.

This will be the first statue of Gandhi on the archipelago that is tucked away in the Arabian Sea. The India’s Muslim majority islands have no statue till now.

Local Muslims objected to MK Gandhi statues, cites Sharia law

About 11 years ago, an attempt was made by the Congress-led UPA regime to install a bust of Gandhi on the islands. A Rs 2 lakh statue of MK Gandhi was sent to Lakshadweep in the vessel MV Amindivi to be installed at Kavaratti in September 2010.

However, the bust of MK Gandhi could not be offloaded at Lakshadweep as Muslims, who account for over 98 per cent of the total population of the union territory, objected to the installation of any such statues. Though authorities cited “bad weather”, in reality, the installation of the statue of Gandhi was opposed by the local Muslims saying installation of such idols and statues would hurt sentiments of the community. 

According to reports from Kerala-based media outlets, the local Muslims believe that if such a statute is once installed, then they will have to pay respects to it by decorating it with flowers, which according to them, is a part of Hindutva and violates the Sharia law. Hence, the Muslims in Lakshadweep vehemently opposed the installation of the Gandhi statue in Kavaratti.

Eleven years since then, MK Gandhi’s bust has faced a harrowing time as it has shuttled several times from Kochi to Kavaratti.

Protests erupts over reforms in Lakshadweep

Earlier this year, the clamour for the installation of Gandhi’s statue in the Lakshadweep Islands grew after after the Muslim majority population of the archipelago staunchly opposed the reforms announced by administrator Praful K Patel.

Patel had floated a number of proposals aimed at ensuring the safety and well-being of residents, along with promoting the islands as a tourist destination on par with the Maldives.

The draft Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation (LDAR) 2021 proposed a new law to ban cow slaughter and beef, which is in line with the prevailing law in an overwhelming number of states in India. The draft also included a two-child policy to educate people about the importance of family planning. In order to deter people from having more than 2 children, the law proposed preventing such people from becoming a member of the gram panchayat.

Another provision in the draft authorised the sale of alcoholic beverages on the islands, strictly to the resort owners, in a bid to boost tourism in the archipelago. Currently, prohibition is in place on all inhabited islands, with liquor served only at resorts on the uninhabited Bangaram island. The new regulation is aimed at attracting more tourists by allowing liquor sale in resorts on the inhabited islands of the Lakshadweep archipelago.

But, these reforms did not sit well with the Island’s majority population, who vigorously opposed the reforms and expressed their disapproval over them.

Join OpIndia's official WhatsApp channel

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

Recently Popular

- Advertisement -