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"Hum Aatmanirbhar hai...," Amitabh Bachchan urges fans to explore Indian Islands amid India-Maldives row

Mumbai: Amid escalating tensions between India and the Maldives following derisive comments about Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Lakshadweep by some Maldivian political leaders, Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan on Monday encouraged people to explore the beauty of Indian islands.
Big B reacted to a post shared by former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag on X and said "Hum Bharat hai, Hum Aatmanirbhar hai and do not harm our self-reliance."
"Viru paji .. this is so relevant and in the right spirit of our land .. our own is 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. We are India, we are Atmanirbhar, don't let anything blemish our Atma Nirbharta. Jai Hindi" Big B posted on X.
Earlier on Sunday, Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag shared several pictures and wrote, "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 known 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."
Meanwhile, other Bollywood celebrities like Ranveer Singh, Shraddha Kapoor, Varun Dhawan, Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar, Kangana Ranaut, John Abraham, and others have joined the 'visit Lakshadweep campaign' under the hashtag ExploreIndianIslands.
Maldives Envoy to India, Ibrahim Shaheeb was on Monday morning seen leaving the Ministry of External Affairs in the national capital's South Block.
This comes amid a row over derogatory social media remarks by some ministers in the Maldives on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent visit to Lakshadweep.
A massive row was triggered last week after Maldives deputy minister, along with other cabinet members and government officials, made disparaging and unsavoury references to PM Modi's Lakshadweep visit.
On January 2, PM Modi visited the Union Territory of Lakshadweep and shared several pictures, including an 'exhilarating experience' of him trying his hand at snorkelling.
In a series of posts on X, PM Modi shared pictures of the white beaches, 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."
In a post that has now been deleted, the Maldivian Deputy Minister of Youth Empowerment, Shiuna, made a mocking and disrespectful reference to PM Modi.
The Maldives government has distanced itself from the remarks made by its ministers. Maldivian Minister of Foreign Affairs Moosa Zameer said that these remarks against foreign leaders are "unacceptable" and do not reflect the official position of the Maldives government.
He stated that the Maldives remains committed to fostering a "positive and constructive dialogue" with all its partners, particularly its neighbours.
In a post shared on X, Moosa Zameer stated, "The recent remarks against foreign leaders and our close neighbours are unacceptable and do not reflect the official position of the Government of #Maldives. We remain committed to fostering a positive and constructive dialogue with all our partners, especially our neighbours, based on mutual respect and understanding."
On Sunday, the former Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih stated that New Delhi has always been a good friend to the island nation. Taking to his official handle on X, Solih posted, "I condemn the use of hateful language against India by Maldivian government officials on social media."
He stressed that "India has always been a good friend to the Maldives and we must not allow such callous remarks to negatively impact the age-old friendship between our two countries."
Former Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid said the objectionable remarks against the former and fellow Indian natives on social media are 'reprehensible' and 'odious'.
Calling on the Maldivian government to identify the officials responsible and reprimand them, the former Foreign minister on his official X handle posted, "Derogatory remarks made by two Deputy Ministers of the current Maldives Government, and a member of a political party in the ruling coalition, towards Prime Minister @narendramodi and the people of India in social media is reprehensible and odious."
A section of India's film fraternity, too, came out in support of PM Modi and strongly criticised the derogatory remarks by Maldivian leaders against the country and its leader. They also voiced support for PM Modi's call for promoting beach tourism in Lakshadweep.

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