The Union Territory of Lakshadweep has been in the news for the past few weeks. With a population of about 65,000, the Island has been the centre of political discussion due to the recent decisions of administrator Praful Khoda Patel. The local people are seeing the new proposals of the administration as a crisis on the social and cultural structure of Lakshadweep. There has been constant opposition to Praful Patel's decisions in Kerala as well. Lakshadweep MP Mohammad Faisal PP is also demanding the Central government to recall Praful Patel.
Mohammad Faisal said in the discussion that the administration did not discuss the new proposals with anyone. There was no talks with the MP nor the Zilla Panchayat. He said that the biggest issue is the Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation (LDAR) draft, which has left individuals afraid that the administration is getting the right to take away people's land. He said, "Lakshadweep is a very sensitive area from an environmental point of view. If it is not retained, the Island will be destroyed. The administration is strategising to construct 15-20 metre wide roads. If this happens, many coconut trees will be cut down. The administration is trying to develop what is not required here. They aim to help the corporates and, therefore, such rules are being framed. Their intention is not development, but to take over the land of the people.
Praful Patel, administrator of Dadar and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Island, was given the responsibility of Lakshadweep in December last year. Since then, they have brought drafts such as Lakshadweep Animal Preservation Regulation, Lakshadweep Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Regulation, Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation and Amendment of Lakshadweep Panchayat Staff Rule. Lakshadweep has ordered a ban on cow slaughter and use of beef through animal preservation regulation. The people of Lakshadweep have been eating beef for years, Mohammad Faisal told the newspaper. 'Our food habits is a constitutional right. The proposed order of the administration is an attempt to interfere in food addiction. Non-veg food is being removed from the mid-day meal of the children here. It is an attack on our constitutional rights'.