What 1989 Island Development Authority Report Had Recommended for Lakshadweep
A paradise set in the heart of the Arabian Sea is the archipelago of Lakshadweep. A Union Territory since 1956, this chain of 36 coral islands — of which 10 are inhabited by 66,000 islanders in 32 sq. km, nestled 200 to 440 km off the Kerala coastline — gives India a vast 400,000 sq. kms of the Indian Ocean as an exclusive economic zone.
Shoals of skipjack tuna and yellow fin tuna swim these waters, making them a rich fishing ground. The language, except in Minicoy, is Malayalam, while in Minicoy Mahl is spoken, a language akin to17th century Divehi of the Maldives. This Muslim society is based on matriarchal joint families with women serving as the head of household until at least 1990, when I served as Administrator (1987-90), following a stint in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), which I regard as easily the most enriching assignment of my career.
And by the conclusion of my own term as…