Al Jazeera Goes Blank for Repeated Violation of India Map Norm

India has penalized international news channel Al Jazeera for showing wrong maps of India repeatedly without concern and from today the channel will be off air for 5 days.

All these five days, Al Jazeera will show a blank screen saying “as instructed by the ministry of Information and Broadcasting, this channel will not be available from 00.01 hours on 22nd April till 00.01 hours on 27th April 2015.”

Ever since 2013, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry has been receiving reports that Al Jazeera showing a wrong map of India and the matter was referred to Surveyor General of India (SGI), who has cracked the whip.

The SGI said, “a portion of Indian territory of Jammu and Kashmir (PoK and Aksai Chin) has not been shown as a part of Indian territory” by Al Jazeera and in some maps the channel did not bother to show Lakshadweep and Andaman Islands.

Based on SGI recommendations, the channel was served a Show Cause Notice but Al Jazeera said that all maps were generated by an internationally known software used by Global News Providers, that typically leaves out PoK.

The channel, however, said it would review all its India and Pakistan maps to ensure compatibility with recent official UN map.

The tough stand taken by India may serve as an eye-opener to many other news outlets which show PoK as Pakistan territory or as outside India. If not Indian maps, at least UN maps should be used, instead of running into repeated violation of the map of India. Now the Internet news outlets will also come under scanner soon.

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