“This Dig At Our Country And PM…”: Virender Sehwag, Other Cricket Stars Fume Over Maldives Row

The controversial comments made against India by public figures in Maldives have left Indians fuming. Even renowned cricketers like Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Irfan Pathan, Suresh Raina, etc. have criticized the ‘racist’ remarks against India and encouraged fellow citizens to explore the beauty of the Indian beaches. The reactions come amid the row over derogatory and ‘anti-India’ remarks made by Maldives minister, leaders and other public figures after Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the union territory of Lakshadweep.

Former India opener Virender Sehwag gave a sharp reply to the unwarranted comments against India and PM Modi.

“Whether it be the beautiful beaches of Udupi , Paradise Beach in Pondi, Neil and Havelock in Andaman, and many other beautiful beaches throughout our country, there are so many unexplored places in Bharat which have so much potential with some infrastructure support. Bharat is knowing for converting all Aapda into Avsar, and this dig at our country and our Prime Minister by Maldives ministers is a great Avsar for Bharat to create just the necessary infrastructure to make them attractive to tourists and boost our economy. Please do name your favourite unexplored beautiful places,” he wrote on X.

Ex-Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan wrote, “Having traveled the world since I was 15, every new country I visit reinforces my belief in the exceptional service offered by Indian hotels and tourism. While respecting each country’s culture, it’s disheartening to hear negative remarks about my homeland’s extraordinary hospitality.”

Former India batter Suresh Raina urged Indians to unite against Maldives’s hate and explore Indian Islands. Raina said it’s upsetting to see such criticism from the Maldives, especially because India contributes greatly to their economy, crisis management, and many other areas.

He stated now is the moment to explore the Indian Islands.

“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. Having visited the Maldives multiple times and always expressing admiration for the destination’s beauty, I believe it’s crucial to prioritize our self-respect,” he said in a post on X.

“In light of recent events, let’s unite and choose to #ExploreIndianIslands, supporting our own vibrant tourism industry. It’s time to celebrate and appreciate the rich experiences that our own has to offer,” Raina added.

Notably, former cricketer Aakash Chopra took to social media to voice his opinion on the matter.

“‘India Out’ was a part of the manifesto. Maldives voted for it. Now, it’s up to us, Indians, to choose wisely. I know that my family will. Jai Hind,” Akash Chopra wrote on X.

Earlier, legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar also took to the social media platform and lauded Sindhudurg, the coastal town in Maharashtra and its beautiful coastlines and pristine islands.

“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,” Sachin posted on Sunday.

PM Modi visited the Union Territory of Lakshadweep on January 2 and shared several pictures, including an ‘exhilarating experience’ after he tried his hand at snorkelling.

In a series of posts on X, PM Modi shared pictures of the white beaches and the pristine blue skies and the ocean, and tagged them with a message that read, “For those who wish to embrace the adventurer in them, Lakshadweep has to be on your list.”

“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. I thank the people of the islands for their hospitality. Here are some glimpses, including aerial glimpses from Lakshadweep,” PM Modi posted on X.

He added, “During my stay, I also tried snorkelling – what an exhilarating experience it was! For those who wish to embrace the adventurer in them, Lakshadweep has to be on your list”.

Prime Minister Modi also laid the foundation stone for development projects worth over Rs 1,150 crore in Agatti on Tuesday.

Notably, Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu is considered close to China and he even ran the electoral campaign on the line of ‘India Out’. After coming to power, he has taken several steps that have been unconventional from the point of India-Maldives ties.

With ANI inputs

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