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Maldives Row: Sachin Tendulkar, Hardik Pandya Bat For Indian Islands, Beaches - How Cricket Fraternity Reacted

Maldives ministers made derogatory remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which has caused widespread outrage. India all-rounder Hardik Pandya and former cricketers Sachin Tendulkar, Suresh Raina have advocated tourism in Indian islands like Lakshadweep instead

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File image of India all-rounder Hardik Pandya.
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Joining the chorus against the "racist" remarks made against Prime Minister Narendra Modi by Maldives ministers, India all-rounder Hardik Pandya and former cricketers Sachin Tendulkar, Suresh Raina and Venkatesh Prasad have expressed their solidarity with the Indian government and advocated tourism in Indian islands like Lakshadweep over Maldives. (More Cricket News)

Pandya wrote on social media platform X (formerly Twitter): "Extremely sad to see what’s being said about India. With its gorgeous marine life, beautiful beaches, Lakshadweep is the perfect get away spot and surely a must visit for me for my next holiday."

Tendulkar lauded the splendour of Sindhudurg - a coastal town in Maharashtra - praising its "beautiful coastlines and pristine islands."

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Raina too took to X, unequivocally condemning the remarks. He wrote: "I saw remarks from prominent public figures in the Maldives, expressing hateful and racist comments directed towards Indians. It's disheartening to witness such negativity, especially considering that India contributes significantly to their economy, crisis management and so many other aspects."

Prasad criticised Maldives deputy minister of youth empowerment Mariyam Shiuna, who made disparaging remarks against India.

"A deputy minister using such language for our country. Maldives is a largely poor country largely dependent on upmarket tourism with over 15% tourists from India. India has very many unexplored beautiful coastal towns, and this is a great opportunity to develop many of them into tourist destinations," Prasad wrote.

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The remarks against PM Modi came following a recent visit of the Indian Prime Minister to the Union Territory of Lakshadweep. Modi shared his experience in Lakshadweep with some scenic pictures from the island. The Maldivian minister commented on one such picture and used derogatory words for the Prime Minister of India.

While India has raised its serious concerns with the Maldivian authorities through diplomatic channels, social media too is abuzz with several prominent figures and celebrities condemning the comments and #ExploreIndianIslands started trending on X.

Meanwhile, the Maldivian government has suspended three deputy ministers for the derogatory social media posts against PM Modi - Malsha Shareef, Shiuna and Abdulla Mahzoom Majid.

“All government officials responsible for the comments have been suspended from their post effective immediately,” said Ibrahim Khaleel, spokesperson for the President of Maldives.

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