India-Maldives row: Amitabh Bachchan promotes Lakshadweep, Andamans; hails country's self-reliance

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Amitabh Bachchan Maldives

Mumbai: Lakshadweep and the Andamans are "astonishingly beautiful locations", said Amitabh Bachchan on Monday as the megastar hailed India's self-reliance amid a row over disparaging remarks by Maldivian ministers after Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Lakshadweep.


The 81-year-old is the latest prominent personality to express his opinion in the matter after actors Akshay Kumar, Salman Khan, Shraddha Kapoor, and veteran cricketers Sachin Tendulkar, Venkatesh Prasad and Virender Sehwag appealed to people to explore domestic islands instead of going to the Maldives.

Bachchan quoted Sehwag's X post in which the former cricketer termed the "dig at our country and our Prime Minister by Maldives ministers" as an opportunity for India to create necessary infrastructure to attract tourists and boost the economy.

In his post, Bachchan said Sehwag's comments were relevant and in "the right spirit of our land".


".. our own are the very best .. I have been to Lakshadweep and Andamans and they are such astonishingly beautiful locations .. stunning waters, beaches and the underwater experience is simply unbelievable..

"Hum Bharat hain, hum aatma-nirbhar hain, humari aatma-nirbharta par aanch mat daaliye. Jai Hind (We are India, we are self-reliant, don't test our self reliance. Jai Hind)" the star wrote on the microblogging site.


The government of Maldives on Sunday suspended its three deputy ministers after they criticised Modi for his post on X following his visit to Lakshadweep, inferring that it was an attempt to project the Union Territory as an alternative tourist destination to the Maldives.

Comic-actor Vir Das, however, had a light-hearted take on the controversy.


"Firstly, happy Lakshadweep is getting some love! Secondly, Somewhere in the Maldives, right now, is an Indian celebrity/influencer, who didn’t eat carbs for two weeks, took the best vacation photos ever, and is TERRIFIED to post them," Das wrote.


Producer Ektaa Kapoor said she had returned to X to say that she would take her son to Lakshadweep for an adventure holiday.

"No more ‘mall’ !!! Time to dive into d ‘dweep’ #IndianTourism (sic)" Kapoor said in an apparent reference of pitching the Indian island over the Maldives.


Actors Nimrat Kaur and Varun Dhawan shared posts on X with the hashtag 'Explore Indian Islands'.

"No better way to travel than taking time off from work and life to #ExploreIncredibleIndia. Always lived by it, won’t ever stop! @PMOIndia #BharatKiNimrat," Kaur wrote.

"Seeing our honourable prime minister @narendramodi sir at the beaches in Lakshadweep makes me realise I've been missing out on our pristine beaches and water. Can't wait to book my next holiday," Dhawan said.

There were also posts on social media claiming that some Indians are cancelling their scheduled trip to the Maldives in view of the row.

The Maldivian foreign ministry said the government is aware of "derogatory remarks" on social media platforms against foreign leaders and that the personal views do not represent its position.

Modi was in Lakshadweep on January 2 and 3 to inaugurate several projects.