Kerala Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan’s speech in the Assembly presenting a resolution on Lakshadweep under Rule 118

Kerala Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan’s speech in the Assembly presenting a resolution on Lakshadweep under Rule 118

Thiruvananthapuram: ( 31.05.2021) The unique way of life of the people of Lakshadweep is being tampered with attempts being made to impose a saffron agenda and corporate interests. It started with painting saffron colour on the coconut trees and it has now grown to an extent that would destroy their habitat, life and natural relationships. Banners put up on the island against the Citizenship Amendment Bill were removed and those who wrote it were arrested in Lakshadweep.

The people of Lakshadweep have adopted the practice of living peacefully in general and they usually shower their love on the guests. Steps have also been taken to bring in the Goonda act in Lakshadweep, where crime is rare. Such measures have been taken in anticipation of any protests and to silence any voice of dissent. A dictatorial system of governance is being developed through these measures.

The aim is to destroy fishing which is the foundation of people's livelihood there. The sheds where the fishermen's boats and nets are kept have been destroyed. Steps are also being taken to eliminate beef which is an important part of the staple food of the people there. The Sangh Parivar agenda of banning cow slaughter is being implemented through the back door. Measures are being taken to ban cow slaughter and beef, and to close dairy farms. The Administrator is now taking the lead in gradually destroying the life and culture of the people of Lakshadweep.

Steps are being taken to abolish all existing democratic systems in Lakshadweep and impose bureaucratic domination. The powers of the District Panchayat and the Village Dweep Panchayat has been transferred to the Administrator. The Departments of Fisheries, Health, Education, Animal Husbandry and Agriculture are also being removed from the purview of the District Panchayat. An administrator who does not have the authority to directly intervene in these departments was empowered to do so by an order. In doing so, the Central government is undermining the island's usual democracy by deploying officials of their choice.

They have also brought out a bizarre order related to the elections. The attitude that those with more than two children should not contest in the panchayat elections is unheard of in our country. They are trying to implement that as well. As a result, the vast majority of the islanders will lose their democratic rights.

As part of protecting the island community's habitat, culture and security, the existing law states that no one outside the island has the right to purchase land there. Similar law prevails in many parts of India also. But reforms are also being implemented as part of making changes to it. There is a directive that the ownership of the land and the building should be renewed every three years. Failure to do so will result in a fine of Rs 2 lakhs and a fine of Rs 20,000 per day. This process is increasingly becoming impractical for those who work and live in far off places.

Kerala and Lakshadweep are regions that have been intertwined for centuries. Many of the islands were under the administration of the Arakkal dynasty of Kannur prior to the British occupation, Until November 1, 1956, Lakshadweep was part of the then Malabar District. Lakshadweep has a way of life and culture that is closely associated with Kerala. Malayalam is their main language. There are Malayalam and English medium schools on the island. Major institutions including the High Court are functioning in Kochi. Freight arrivals and departures are based on the ports of Kochi and Beypore. Attempts are now being made to break this historically interdependent relationship.

The encroachment on the culturally unique features of Lakshadweep and its distinctive way of life cannot be accepted for any reason. In many parts of the world, strong resistance has arisen wherever there have been attempts to undermine the living conditions of the people. Thus there are many people who became orphans in their own country. That should be the lesson and such heinous acts should not happen in India. All sectarian separatist movements are carried out in the interests of the forces that oppose the unity of the country. Seen from that historical context, the future of Lakshadweep is worrying. There are concerns that it will go unnoticed on the minds of the entire Indian people and Kerala shares that concern. It is an attack on the cultural identity that people value, in a way that beats even the actions of the colonial rulers. This is completely alien in a democratic culture with a pluralistic face. Therefore, anyone who upholds constitutional values must register a strong disagreement with the actions of the Lakshadweep Administrator.

The activities taking place in Lakshadweep today should be seen as a practical lab of the Sangh Parivar agenda. They are trying to change the culture, language, way of life, and food of the people in a way that suits them. They are also taking steps to disrupt the livelihoods of the people and give a red carpet welcome to the corporates. Strong opposition must be raised against this attempt to enslave people to corporate interests and Hindutva politics. Only then can the vision of ‘unity in diversity' that underpins the very existence of the Indian nation as envisioned by the national freedom movement be preserved.

The Central Government has a responsibility to ensure that the unique characteristics of the Union Territory of Lakshadweep and its people is preserved. The Administrator who challenges it should be removed from his responsibilities.

The House should unanimously pass a resolution calling on the Central Government to take immediate action to protect the lives and livelihoods of the people of Lakshadweep.
Kerala Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan’s speech in the Assembly presenting a resolution on Lakshadweep under Rule 118, Thiruvananthapuram, News, Politics, Kerala

Keywords: Kerala Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan’s speech in the Assembly presenting a resolution on Lakshadweep under Rule 118, Thiruvananthapuram, News, Politics, Kerala.