Recently I came across an advertisement to promote tourism in our country. It showcased beautiful tourist destinations of India. The person who forwarded the ad claimed it to be ‘lovely and eye catching’! And I on the other hand, was disappointed to say the least. Infact, I wanted to lodge a complaint against the organisation who made the creative and also against the individual forwarding the same.
Why this fuss? Because the first screen depicted the Indian map incorrectly. Rather the map was incomplete. The disputed lands of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh had not been showcased in the map. I wonder why do we allow this folly. Are we so ignorant that we do not know the real boundaries of our own motherland?!!
The soldiers brave the harsh conditions to protect our borders day and night, so that we can enjoy a carefree life. They do not battle an eyelid before they lay down lives for their motherland. They do not allow the enemy to take away even an in inch of their country. They would rather die than allow an enemy to step onto Indian land. And how do we honour their sacrifices? By making a mockery of these sacrifices, by reducing the boundaries of our country on digital platforms and taking pride in forwarding these photos/maps/creatives.
Incorrect depiction of the map of India is a grave crime. It can have some serious implications. If you do not believe my words or you are not convinced, please read this news item Times of India dated 5 May 2016 The government of India doesn’t take it lightly and neither should you because it can land an individual in jail. While writing this blog, I researched a little more and came across another news item which was published today. The IT Minister had pulled up WhatsApp for depicting a wrong map of India. WhatsApp responded promptly by removing the incorrect map as stated in this news article – Indian Express dated 25 January 2023. Further, the government of India had also taken up a case with WHO in the same regard as stated here Hindustan Times dated 1 Feb 2022.
My father, a soldier, laid down his life for the country so I am extremely sensitive in this regard. But now that I have vented my anger, I am feeling calmer and would like to put across my point in a different way. Why do you think the government takes this issue so seriously? Because the map depicts our motherland. We can’t allow anyone to chop off the limbs of our beloved mother. The soldiers protect the boundaries and keep the enemy at bay and it is our duty to ensure that we do not propagate or forward any incorrect information. Please understand the impact it can have on young minds. They say that if a wrong is told a thousand times it eventually becomes right. So, if this irresponsible behaviour goes on, sooner or later our children will start accepting these as the legitimate boundaries of our country. We cannot allow this to happen!!
The incorrect depiction of map could be the handiwork of our enemy countries. These maps are mostly depicted on non-Indian sites. They might be trying to influence our minds and like I said, “turn a wrong…into…right!” Please do not let them take advantage of our vulnerability, our ignorance, our stupidity.
If you have been ignorant, then don’t be! Educate yourself if you take pride in being an Indian. There is ample information on the official websites of government of India regarding our country’s map and also about the national symbols of India. Learn about them. Respect them and manifest the values they stand for. Get the information right and be cautious before you forward anything in this regard. Before you click the forward button – pause – refer to the authentic information.
I am posting few ‘incorrect maps’ for your reference.
What can you do if you come across incorrect map in future? First and foremost, do not forward it. Second, communicate the consequences of sharing the incorrect map of India. Make them delete the visuals. You can share this blog to apprise them. Incase the visual is directly shared by an individual or organisation, ask them to remove the same asap. I am sure they will be reluctant to do so, persuade them and if nothing happens, lodge a complaint with 100 or write to the Ministry of Defence stating the matter. Last year, around this time, I had come across a video made by a school with incorrect map of our country. I asked the school authorities to change the map and believe it or not, they were not ready to do so. Neither did they deny nor did they change it. Instead they kept giving excuses. Finally, when I warned them that I would file a complaint with the PM Office or Ministry of Defence, did they take down the said video. So, it is not going to be easy but if we are vigilant, we can curb this menace.
And before I sign off here are the ‘correct’, ‘legitimate’ maps of India. You can also refer to Maps of India for the correct and updated maps. Be vigilant, be responsible citizens of our dear motherland. Jai Hind!!