Ten Maps of Kashmir That Angered India


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1. The Economist Magazine publishes a map

In 2011, The Economist magazine showed a map of Kashmir in its cover story “The world’s most dangerous border” that resulted in the magazine copies being seized by India. The magazine accused India of hostile censorship when the Indian customs officers ordered that 28,000 copies of the news weekly should have stickers manually placed over a diagram showing Kashmir split between India, Pakistan and China. The Economist editor-in chief, John Micklethwait responded: “India is meant to be a democracy that approves of freedom of speech. But they take a much more hostile attitude on this matter than either Pakistan or China. This is an act of censorship, and many wise and sensible voices in India see it has no point. We are just told ‘it is the law of India’. The map is impartial, accurate and fair. We show everyone’s claims, and it is also realistic as it shows where the unofficial border actually falls.


2. Al Jazeera Channel shows map of Kashmir

In April 2015, Indian government took Al Jazeera news channel off the air for five days after officials insisted it had repeatedly shown wrong maps of Kashmir in past. The five-days ban order was made over the maps that showed parts of the Kashmir region in arch-rival Pakistan and China. “The ban has been imposed for five days and it was done on instructions of an inter-ministerial committee, who took cognisance of an incorrect map of India in which the channel showed parts of Kashmir in Pakistan and China,” an Indian official had told AFP.


3. China issues e-passports

In 2012, China showed Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin (part of Jammu and Kashmir) as its territory in maps of the country on their new e-passports. To this, India retaliated by issuing visas, containing Indian maps including these regions as part of it. The new e-passports of China carried pages with watermark Chinese maps including Arunachal and Aksai Chin as its parts.


4. Queensland University during Narendra Modi’s visit

In 2015, when the prime minister Narendra Modi was in Australia to attend the G20 Summit, he also visited the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) where an Indian map was put up showing parts of Jammu and Kashmir missing. The Indian officials accompanying him objected. Indian Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh, accompanying the prime minister, “raised the issue and received an unqualified apology” from the university authorities, said a ministry of external affairs tweet.


5. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg this week stirred up controversy by sharing a graphical post depicting India’s map without Kashmir. The post, an info-graphic with maps of 11 nations including India minus the state of Jammu and Kashmir, was to highlight the achievements of its Internet.org platform. Indians were quick to criticise Zuckerberg over the issue. They bombarded the post demanding Zukerberg to put Kashmir back on the map. Instantly after Zuckerberg posted one user commented “Great Job, Please correct the Indian MAP on this Picture, Kashmir is Missing.”


6. RSS mouthpiece Organizer published a map

In March 2015, a map in the RSS mouthpiece, “Organizer”, showed some parts of Jammu and Kashmir as being a part of Pakistan. Union Minister for Information Technology and Communications Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the NDA government will investigate. Prasad had added, while speaking in the parliament, that the map depicted in the magazine does not endorse the views of either the BJP, or the RSS. The issue was also raised in the Upper House of Parliament by senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who described Jammu and Kashmir as the nation’s crown.


7. Patna Master Plan with maps

Last year in Birhar, the urban development department of Bihar suspended an employee and served a show-cause notice on an engineer in connection with a row over a map of India on its website showing Jammu and Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh not as parts of the country. The Urban Development department later deleted the map from its website within a few hours of the oversight being detected by the media and replaced it with a political map taken from the Survey of India. An Ahmedabad-based Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT), which had prepared the Patna masterplan in which the map was shown, was also served a show-cause notice.


8. CBSE book for Class III

In 2012, a controversy erupted when a geographical map named Pakistan-administered-Kashmir as “Azad Kashmir” and Gilgit-Baltistan as “Northern areas” in an exercise book prescribed for class three by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). The publishers were forced to withdraw the book. The book was printed by a New Delhi based private publisher, Prabhat Publishing House and claims to have been published as per the new syllabus introduced by CBSE.



9. CCTV while reporting Modi’s visit

A controversy erupted in May 2015 after China’s state-owned television CCTV showed India’s map without Jammu & Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh while reporting on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit. The map was displayed during a bulletin when Modi was in Xi’an city where he held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping in his hometown.


10. Bangladesh Tourism brochure at International Kolkatta Book Fair

In 2015, a map of India showing a large area of Kashmir as part of Pakistan in a Bangladesh Tourism brochure, which was being distributed at the International Kolkata Book Fair led to an inquiry by the Bangladesh government. A protest was staged by the BJP’s Yuva Morcha outside the Bangladesh stall at the book fair after it detected the map. The book fair authorities immediately contacted Dhaka’s Deputy High Commission here apprehending snow balling of the agitation. Bangladesh Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Menon ordered them to withdraw the brochures and ordered the setting up of an inquiry committee.


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