A group of Maldivian police officers who underwent training in India have sported Tilaka on their foreheads.
Tilaka, a Hindu cultural practice, involves the application of a mark on the forehead, typically made of sandalwood paste, ashes, or turmeric. It holds religious and spiritual significance and is considered a lucky symbol in Hindu culture, often used during Hindu worship and ceremonies.
Images of the Maldivian police officers wearing Tilaka have gone viral on social media, drawing widespread criticism. The officers, who work at the National College of Policing and Law Enforcement, participated in a training program at the Rashtriya Raksha University in India.
The act has sparked widespread outrage among Maldivians, with many taking to social media to voice their objections. "There is a limit to embracing other cultures, but this goes beyond it," tweeted one concerned individual. Some prominent religious scholars have also voiced their objections and called for the police officers to repent. Meanwhile, religious scholars affiliated with the ruling MDP have remained silent on the matter.