Al Jazeera to be taken off air for showing wrong Indian map

By April 19th, 2015 AT 12:14 PM

A Doha-based broadcaster Al Jazeera was banned from airing for five days, from the midnight of April 22 to midnight of April 27, for repeatedly showing the wrong map of India. Besides omitting Lakshadweep Island from the map of India, the news channel showed a part of Kashmir as it belonged to Pakistan.

aljazeera-india

The inter-ministerial committee that examined the complaints said that the channel has committed ‘cartographic aggression’ and called for a ‘deterrent punishment for their misdemeanor’. The action of Al Jazeera has violated Rule 6 [1] (h) of the program code, which says ‘no content can be carried in the cable services which affects the integrity of the nation’ reports New Indian Express.

According to Information and Broadcasting, Al Jazeera showed wrong maps of India in its news reports both in 2013 and 2014 repeatedly. In 2013, the dates of airing of wrong maps were listed as 24th July; 11th, 22nd, 30th, 31st August; 7th and 24th in September. In 2014, 2nd and 26th July; 3rd and 15th August and 19th September were the dates.

For the notice that was issued on August 21st, 2014, the channel replied that they were following their own style guide of the map, where Indian-administered portion of Kashmir is shown as a part of India and Pakistan-controlled Kashmir was shown as a part of Pakistan. “The channel always takes the Indian government concerns regarding Indian maps and boundaries issues very seriously and accordingly reviews all its India and Pakistan maps to ensure compatibility with recent official UN maps,” the channel quoted in its official order.

Ministry of External Affair (MEA) was contacting the channel for past two and half years regarding this wrong geographical map, but availed no result. In addition, the channel was showing the maps of India with the same colour as it was used for Pakistan, causing confusion in the minds of viewers about the actual boundaries of the countries.

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