Maldivian politician’s racist remarks PM Modi’s Lakshadweep trip lead to call for tourism boycott

New Delhi: Maldivian politician and a council member of the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) Zahid Rameez’s racist remarks targeting Indians following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Lakshadweep have sparked widespread outrage and a halt to visits to the island by potential tourists. The number of cancellations has increased for Maldives holiday plans.

Rameez was reacting to statements made by some users on X after PM Modi shared pictures from his recent visit to Lakshadweep.

When some users suggested that PM Modi’s visit would provide a big boost to tourism in Lakshadweep and help divert tourists away from the Maldives, Rameez said that “the idea of competing with us is delusional.”

Rameez said on There was a significant reaction as a tourist destination.

A large number of Indian tourists said they have canceled their Maldives holiday plans in response to derogatory comments made by Maldivian government ministers. Below are excerpts from various posts expressing dissatisfaction with X:

Despite facing widespread criticism on social media platforms, PPM member Rameez decided not to issue an apology or withdraw his statement.

Instead, he portrayed himself as a victim, emphasizing his identity as a Muslim, saying, “I was born in India, and for your information, I am not a lawmaker. It’s confusing why there is a backlash, especially when more hurtful comments have been made by your people about us, Muslims, and Palestine. Anyway, I usually Doesn’t comment, so this time, please deal with it.”

The already strained diplomatic relations between India and Maldives have worsened due to the political changes in the country. PPM’s newly elected President Mohammad Muizzu is considered more inclined towards China than his predecessor. Muizzu has already requested India to withdraw its military forces from Maldives, a move which was conveyed to Union Minister Kiren Rijiju during his visit for the President’s inauguration ceremony in November.