Celebrities endorse Lakshadweep while Maldives furore snowballs into a diplomatic row


Lakshadweep as a search word touched a 20-year high in Google search trends on Monday

Our Bureau


Cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar, Bollywood actors Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar, John Abraham, Shilpa Shetty Kundra and Shradha Kapur have taken to X to urge Indians to choose Lakshadweep for a holiday destination over the Maldives. In their posts, they have mentioned their favorite moments while vacationing at Lakshadweep or their plan to visit the picturesque and serene island, an archipelago of 36 atolls and coral reefs in the Laccadive Sea, off the coast of Kerala, India.

Three days back, the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi shared most scenic pictures from his visit to the island. While sharing the pictures, he wrote, “Recently, I had the opportunity to be among the people of Lakshadweep. I am still in awe of the stunning beauty of its islands and the incredible warmth of its people. I had the opportunity to interact with people in Agatti, Bangaram and Kavaratti.”

He also wrote that the focus in Lakshadweep is to uplift lives through enhanced development. In addition to creating futuristic infrastructure, it is also about creating opportunities for better healthcare, faster internet and drinking water, while protecting as well as celebrating the vibrant local culture. He wrote while sharing the pictures on the white sand beaches, “In addition to the scenic beauty, Lakshadweep’s tranquillity is also mesmerizing. It gave me an opportunity to reflect on how to work even harder for the welfare of 140 crore Indians.”

However, the trip was criticized by some Maldivian ministers, who made derogatory remarks against the PM. Few minsters from Maldives claimed that through his visit, PM Modi was attempting to project Lakshadweep as an alternative tourist destination to the Maldives. This created a huge furore on social media with cricketers and Bollywood personalities posting about Lakshadweep as their next holiday destination.

Tendulkar, using the hashtag Explore Indian islands posted his pictures of holidaying in Sindhudurg and said, “250+ days since we rang in my 50th birthday in Sindhudurg! The coastal town offered everything we wanted, and more. Gorgeous locations combined with wonderful hospitality left us with a treasure trove of memories. India is blessed with beautiful coastlines and pristine islands. With our “Atithi Devo Bhava” philosophy, we have so much to explore, so many memories waiting to be created.”

Salman Khan, too, backed Lakshadweep as a tourism destination writing on X, “It is so cool to see our Hon PM Narendrabhai Modi at the beautiful clean n stunning beaches of Lakshadweep, and the best part is that yeh hamare India mein hain.”

Meanwhile, ‘Lakshadweep’ as a search word touched a 20-year high in Google search trends on Monday. Google analytics revealed that the worldwide search interest for Lakshadweep was at its highest in the last 20 years.

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