Any company, no matter how big, cannot be allowed to misrepresent Indian map and be allowed to escape scot free. Last week Twitter stirred a hornet’s nest by showing the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir as party of People’s Republic of China, which was corrected only after a widespread backlash. Now, the Indian government has issued a stern warning to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey for misrepresenting Indian map.
Ajay Sawhney, Secretary of Ministry of Electronics and IT (MEITY), in his letter to Jack Dorsey conveyed the Indian government’s strong disapproval after it mentioned Jammu and Kashmir as a part of China.
The Secretary of MEITY sought to reiterate the fact that Leh is the headquarter of Union Territory of Ladakh with both Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir are integral and inalienable parts of India.
In a stern warning, Ajay Sawhney stated that any attempt by Twitter to disrespect India’s integrity and sovereignty is totally unacceptable and also unlawful. On behalf of the government, Sawhney also asked the technology giant to respect the sensitivities of Indian citizens.
Sawhney also questioned the microblogging platform’s neutrality as he stated that such incidents not only bring disrepute to Twitter but also raises questions about its neutrality and fairness as an intermediary.
Last week, when national security analyst, Nitin Gokhale went live on the microblogging platform from a war memorial in Leh, the location tag displayed in the video was marked ‘Jammu and Kashmir, People’s Republic of China,’ thereby causing a storm.
“Twitter folks, I just did a live from the Hall of Fame. Giving Hall of Fame as the location and guess what it is saying Jammu & Kashmir, Peoples Republic of China! Are you guys nuts,?” tweeted Gokhale.
Gokhale urged others to do the same as a spurt of users observed that the Hall of Fame in Leh was displayed as part of China.
After incessant criticisms, Twitter finally woke up from its slumber to correct its mistake. When ANI’s Ashoke Raj went live from the Hall of Fame, the periscope location came as Jammu and Kashmir, not Jammu and Kashmir – People’s Republic of China. However, this can be seen as an act of monkey balancing as even in its correction, Twitter pandered to Chinese propaganda. Ideally it should have mentioned that Leh and Ladakh – Union Territory of India, but it would have been too difficult for the folks at Twitter to comprehend the simple fact. Twitter currently mentions “Jammu and Kashmir” and not “Jammu and Kashmir – India”, which reveals their blatant bias.
The Indian government must make an example out of Twitter and take punitive steps against the tech giant to prevent such incidents in the future which disrespect India’s sovereignty.