Maldives is a popular holiday destination for people all over the world famous for its beautiful coral islands consisting of white sandy beaches surrounded by limitless crystalline blue waters. However, all tourist activities in the country was put to a temporary hold at the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and an international travel ban was imposed.
On July 15th, the travel ban was lifted. Since then, India has come to become the second top tourist market to Maldives. We have had some time to look into the reasons why things have happened this way, for anyone interested.
More than anything, what stands out is the large number of Bollywood celebrities who continue to vacation here. Here are some names that we know of; Katrina Kaif, Disha Patani, Tiger Shroff, Tara Sutaria, Aadar Jain, Elli EvrRam, Varun Dhawan, Tapsee Pannu, Rakul Preet Singh, Angad Bedi, Neha Dhupia, Kajal Aggarwal, Guatam Kitchlu, Sonakshi Sinha and Sophie Choudry. Mind you, we might have missed some. Many celebrities in the list have not been shy about showing off the colors of blue seen in Maldives through their social media accounts.
Whilst Maldivian have been more than welcoming towards these celebrities, Indians back home have a lot to say about it. As many Indians see it, this is rather insensitive and self-absorbed during a period of time where India, as a whole, remains in crisis due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Even though movement restrictions have been eased, in many part of India, the number of positive testing for COVID-19 still remains quite high and is one of the countries which has been mostly affected.
Since the beginning of pandemic, India has reported 9,266,705 positive cases with 8,679,138 persons recovered. A total of 135,261 deaths have been reported. Many have lost their jobs and are struggling to make end meets. Obviously, the economy has been strained significantly with resources exhausted.
In Maldives, we see a number of Indian expatriates living here for employment. They are struggling as well due to the situation here in Maldives.
No wonder, so many Indians have been enraged. There is nothing wrong about taking a much needed vacation but perhaps it is not the right time to constantly show-off on social media. It has even become a meme at this point.
Even though we as Maldivians have been so positive about the matter, it is important to be mindful about the subject in social media as well as when interacting with Indian nationals residing here.