Maldives Minicoy Mahl Dhivehi
Minicoy Maliku     Communal Organisation

Party System

The Maldives to the south of Minicoy with a similar cultural background to Minicoy but greater exposure to the outside world does not permit political parties.

The Maldives had a political party called the People's Progressive Party (Rayyithunge Muthagaddim Paatee) until 1953. In 2000 the political party system was outlawed when a group of people applied to form a political party.

The official Maldive government line is that a "party" is an occasion where food and tea are served and has little to do with governance.

Minicoy, with a population of just over 10,000 people, and smaller than a Maldive atoll seems to be coping with party politics without any strife.

Since this inset was first inserted here in 2001, the Maldive authorities have allowed political parties to be registered again. However they do not allow these parties to contest in any elections.

multi-party small states

The 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act of the Parliament of India provides for the decentralisation of power to the people by providing powers for panchayats (Councils traditionally consisting of five members, but now not necessarily five) at the village, intermediate and district levels. Panchayat Raj Institutions have been vested with powers and authority to enable them to function as institutions of self government which can take decision regarding

  1. Preparation of plans for economic development and social justice.
  2. Decision making powers relating to the wide ranging subjects as listed in the Eleventh Schedule of the Constitution. These include subjects like Agriculture, Land Improvement, Minor Irrigation, Fisheries, Social Forestry, Rural Industries, Drinking water, Health and Sanitation etc.


Minicoy islanders whose mother tongue is Divehi (which the Lakshadweep Administration calls Mahl) live in a representative multi-party democracy where the rule of law prevails. They have the right to redress their grievances before impartial courts and have the benefit of a mature and reliable legal system. They are assured that their persons and property are not subject to arbitrary arrest, torture or confiscation. Minicoy islanders are not subjected to totalitarian regimes that have life expectancies of a quarter of a century or more.

Minicoy islanders are free to choose their beliefs as provided for in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. No one is handcuffed to coconut palms and raped for making their own free choices.

The basic communal unit is the household presided over by a senior woman. Households are grouped into eleven avarh. Avarh literally mean "suburban ward". The Lakshadweep administration calls them athiri, which literally (in the Divehi language) means shore or waterfront.

Each avah is headed by a bodukaaka (literally uncle) which the Lakshadweep Administration calls a moopan (not a native word) who is usually a man. There is also a woman leader called bodudhaitha (literally aunt). Some bigger avarh have more than one bodukaaka or bodudhaitha who have fixed portfolios assigned to them. Each avarh has an elected assembly called baemedhu. The traditional joint parliament of all the avarhs is called havaru, which is rarely convened now.

There are separate assemblies for the youth called athirikudhin and lavilikudhin. These consist of children under the age of sixteen.

The eleven athiri are:

      1. Fallisseri
      2. Kudehi
      3. Funhilol
      4. Aloodi
      5. Sadivalu
      6. Rammedu
      7. Bodu Athiri
      8. Aumagu
      9. Bada
      10. Kendiparty
      11. Au Bodu Athiri

The legal status of Au Bodu Athiri village is sub judicae. The Lakshadweep Administration may not recognise Au Bodu Athiri as a de jure village

The Indian government's chief civil official in Minicoy is the Amin (an Arabic word that litarally means trustee) or the Tahsildar (a Mughal word that literally meant tax collector) who reports to the Administrator of Lakshadweep in Kavaratti island in the Laccadives.

Members of the District Panchayat (Council)

1- Shri Moosa Manikfan Kallikagothi Indian National Congress Party
2- Shrimathi Aysha Kelugothi Indian National Congress Party
3- Shri Abdul Razak Valubigothi Indian National Congress Party

Chairperson, Village/ Island Panchayat (Council)

Shri Ibrahim Manikfan Donkunnu Ganduvar
(telephone +91-4892-222617)

Members of the Village/ Island Panchayat (Council)

1- Shri Ibrahim Manikfan Donkunnu Ganduvaru Samata
2- Shrimati Amina Nakathorige
3- Shri Hassan Dondalekagothi Athirige
4- Shri Ali Beppurugothi
5- Shrimati Fathima Tharikunnuge
6- Shrimati Amina Alibebege
7- Shri Hassan Congress
8- Shri Mohamed Heyyagothi
9- Shrimati Fathima Kafagothi

Parliament of India
Member of Parliament for Minicoy (Lakshadweep-ST)
Dr. Pallichapura Pookunhikoya

Dr Pallichapura Pookunhikoya
(in younger days)

Dr Pallichapura Pookunhikoya was elected to the Lok Sabha on 13 May 2004 for Janata Dal (United) Party. Dr. Pookunhikoya defeated the incumbent member Shri P.M. Sayeed and won 15597 votes. He received 49.02% of the total votes cast and holds his seat by a majority of 71 votes.

Dr Pookunhikoya is a native of Amini Island in the Amindivi group. He graduated from Gundoor Medical College in Andra Pradesh. Dr Pookunhikoya is married with a daughter and two sons. His daughter is married and settled in the Lakshadweep Islands.

Dr Pookunhikoya precipitated one of the biggest upsets in the history of the Lok Sabha by vanquishing its former deputy speaker Shri P.M. Sayeed who had been the member for Lakshadweep since 1967. As a consolation to the fallen veteran, Shri Sayeed is now Minister of Power in the Congress Party-led federal Government in India and is the ninth-ranking member of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's cabinet.

National Anthem

Minicoy being an integral and inseparable part of India, the national anthem of Minicoy is the national anthem of India. This was composed by the Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore in Bengali and later rendered into Sanskrit and first sung in 1911 as follows:

Jana-gana-mana-adhinayaka, jaya he,
Vindhya-Himachala-Yamuna-Ganga Uchchala-Jaladhi-taranga.
Tava shubha name jage, Tava shubha asisa mage,
Gahe tava jaya gatha,
Jana-gana-mangala-dayaka jaya he Bharata-bhagya-vidhata.
Jaya he, jaya he, jaya he, Jaya jaya jaya, jaya he!

| audio |

Tagore's rendition of the anthem into English is as follows:

Thou art the ruler of the minds of all people,
Dispenser of India's destiny.
Thy name rouses the hearts of Punjab, Sind, Gujarat and Maratha,
Of the Dravida and Orissa and Bengal;
It echoes in the hills of the Of Vindyas and Himalayas,
Mingles in the music of Jamuna and Ganges
A nd is chanted by the waves of the Indian Sea.
They pray for thy blessings and sing thy praise.
The saving of all people waits in thy hand,
T thou dispenser of India's destiny.
Victory, victory, victory to thee.