Google has Three Maps for Three Countries - India, Pakistan, and China
KashmirTelegraph.com investigative team uncovers three versions of the Map of India on Google Maps - Indian version, Chinese version, and the Global version. While the Global version, which is accessible worldwide, shows Indian state of J&K, and Arunachal Pradesh, as disputed; the Chinese version, clearly aimed at placating the Chinese, represents Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh as part of China, with Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir shown, very conveniently, as disputed.
Pune, India: Close on the heels of serious discrepancies in the Map of India in the Google's analytics product (used for tracking website traffic), in India, showing parts of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, as belonging to Pakistan and China, Google has done it yet again.
Google has for a second time, questioned - by way of visible representation - territorial integrity, in a manner, which is prejudicial to the interests of the safety and security of India.
To further its business interests, we believe Google has taken a position of convenience on the issue of maps - this is notwithstanding the fact that India is a huge market for your products," Romeet K Watt, Chief Editor, Kashmir Telegraph, representing Kashmir Bachao Andolan said in a communiqué to the Google Leadership Team today.
Watt wrote to Kent Walker, Vice President and General Counsel, Google Inc, to respect and recognize the Political, Outline, and Physical maps of the Republic of India; terming as pure convenience, strategy of the firm to localize Google Maps to local domains to placate the countries like Pakistan and China.
"It is not acceptable from India stand point, especially with regard to Arunachal Pradesh, and Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). In the garb of complete information on the prevailing geopolitical situation, it is highly regrettable; Google's Global version of Google Maps is showing J&K and Arunachal Pradesh as disputed," Watt said in a statement to KashmirTelegraph.com.
Earlier KashmirTelegraph.com investigative team uncovered three versions of the Map of India on Google Maps - Indian version, Chinese version, and the Global version. The Chinese version of Google Maps shows Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh as inside China's borders and parts of J&K as belonging to Pakistan and China. In contrast, the Indian version of Google Maps depicts both Arunachal Pradesh and J&K, as part of India. Whereas, Global version of Google Maps, shows both Arunachal Pradesh and J&K as disputed territories, within broken lines on the map.
Arunachal Pradesh, which attained its statehood on 20th February 1987, is the state next to Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, with whom India shares an excellent neighborly relation. Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of the country, however, from time to time; China has claimed it to be a part of its territory claiming it to be southern Tibet. China disputes the border, which is the McMahon Line, agreed to by Great Britain and then-independent Tibet in a 1914 treaty.
Parts of Indian state of J&K, it may be recalled, are illegally occupied by Pakistan and China. While China is occupying the northeastern portion (Aksai Chin and the Trans-Karakoram Tract), Pakistan continues to occupy Northern areas, and parts of Kashmir (Pakistan occupied Kashmir), with latter being used as a base to wage a pro-xy war against India. PoK has hundreds of militant training camps, which are used as launch pads by militants to illegally intrude into India and foment trouble.
Watt said that the strategy adopted by Google Inc is dangerous and cannot be accepted. "Google is taking a position on sensitive and political matters, favoring Pakistan and China, which is not acceptable and we expected better sensitivity from them," he further added.
Analysts have gone to the extent of terming distortion and misrepresentation of the Map of India as despicable, sinister plans by vested interest to put India on the back foot in-relation to China and Pakistan.
China has been ofl late indirectly supporting the seperatist cause, aided and abetted by Pakistan, in Kashmir by attempting to issue staped visa's to Indians of Kashmiri origin. India has already declared as “invalid” the standalone paper visas given by the Chinese embassy and consulates for Indians from Jammu and Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh, and issued a travel advisory asking those going to China to ensure their visas are pasted on their passports.
In the context of recent statement made by Kashmiri separatist leaders like Mirwaiz Omar Farooq that China definitely has a role in the Kashmir dispute and had a direct link to the dispute, a senior political analyst told KashmirTelegraph.com that Google should be taken to court and prosecuted under relevant India laws.
The analyst further added: "Unfortunately, the ground reality is different. And Google's solution is not a solution. It's a joke."