There is a protest going on in Lakshadweep Island, a small Union Territory off the coast of Kerala, after the administrator, former BJP Minister Praful Khoda Patel, issued sweeping legal diktats that threaten the socio-culture and religious identities and practices of the people, the sensitive ecology and economy. So let’s have a look at the proposals which the administration has proposed-
(1) Cow slaughter and beef- An order from the administration seeks to ban the slaughter of cow, calf, bull and buffalo without a certificate from a competent authority.
Residents view the rule as a direct infringement on their culture and eating habits. They allege the rule was decided without consultation with local bodies.
(2) Two child policy- Under the Draft Panchayat Regulation 2021, the administration aims to bar people with more than two children from becoming a member of the gram panchayat.
Locals have questioned the motive behind it.
(3) Anti- Gonda regulation- The draft Lakshadweep Prevention of Anti-social Activities Regulation provides for powers to detain a person for up to one year to prevent him from ‘acting in any manner the judicial to the maintenance of the public order.’
Residents questions the need for such a stringent law in union territory such as Lakshadweep which has one of the lowest crime rates in the country. They allege it has been bought in to arrest those opposed to the administration.
(4) Covid-19 SOPs – For a year Lakshadweep did not record any case of Covid-19 thanks to stringent quarantine protocols and testing of inbound travellers. Last December, Covid-19 SOPs were diluted by doing away with mandatory quarantine for travellers at Kochi and Kavaratti. Instead, anyone with the negative RT- PCR certificate issued could travel to Lakshadweep. The administration said that the SOPs were changed by Home Ministry and to allow for the reopening of the economy. The change led to the island losing its green zone tag and the spread of infections in subsequent months. As of May 28, 2021, the UT has reported over 7300 cases and 28 deaths. Islanders blame the administration for mismanagement in handling the pandemic.
So, these were some proposals, made by the administration, responsible to raise the protest in Lakshadweep. I personally recommend to leave it as the way it is. Some other proposals involve making infrastructure on the island. I think beauty lies in simplicity and sometimes things should be just kept simple in order to maintain its beauty. Lakshadweep doesn’t need any modification. It is beautiful the way it is. Simple is indeed beautiful.
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