Amid a row over a tweet by a Maldives minister days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the Lakshadweep archipelago, many Indians on social media have claimed that they have cancelled their planned holidays to the island nation.
The controversy stems from a tweet by a Maldives minister, accusing India of targeting the nation and asserting that India faces challenges in competing with the Maldives in beach tourism.
Many on social media have shared purported screenshots of their cancelled air travel and hotel bookings. Additionally ‘#BoycottMaldives’ is also one of the top trends on X in India.
Was planning to go to Maldives for my birthday which falls on 2nd of feb. Had almost finalised the deal with my travel agent (adding proofs below👇)
But immediately cancelled it after seeing this tweet of deputy minister of Maldives. #boycottmaldivespic.twitter.com/hd2R534bjY
— Dr. Falak Joshipura (@fa_luck7) January 6, 2024
I have my own Lakshadweep.
I am Aatmanirbhar
— Akshit Singh 🇮🇳 (@IndianSinghh) January 6, 2024
Had a 3 week booking worth ₹5 lacs from 1st Feb 2024 at Palms Retreat, Fulhadhoo, Maldives. Cancelled it immediately after their Ministers being racists.
— Rushik Rawal (@RushikRawal) January 6, 2024
The diplomatic tension between India and the Maldives has spiked in recent months, particularly after President Mohamed Muizzu assumed office in November last year. The new president has indicated a shift in foreign policy, signaling closer ties with China and a departure from the previous “India first” approach.
The Maldives, located strategically in the Indian Ocean, remains a key player in India’s regional initiatives such as ‘SAGAR’ (Security and Growth for All in the Region) and the ‘Neighbourhood First Policy.’
Muizzu’s upcoming visit to China, scheduled for January 8 to 12, has further fueled the controversy.
The visit, which is the president’s first state visit since taking office, is seen as a significant move towards strengthening ties with China. This shift is evident in the president’s choice of foreign destinations, including visits to Turkey and the UAE, before engaging with India.