Sunday, November 15, 2009

Google please answer: To which country do Arunachal Pradesh and J&K belong?

In October 2009, what caught my eye was the news of Google Maps showing Arunachal Pradesh as a part of China. This 'anomaly' appears if you access Google's localised version for China. Of course, news says that Beijing considers various swathes of Arunachal Pradesh, Ladakh, etc. to be its own (as a part of Greater Tibet). But then, so does India claim those very parts and the entire Jammu and Kashmir state to be its own.

Google "clarified" that it is the company's standard practice to depict any country’s official position on Google’s localised domains for that country. A lame excuse, I would say. And in the global versions, it classifies those territories as "disputed territories". In many "international" products of Google, such as Google Analytics, the state of Jammu and Kashmir is depicted wrongly. The part of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir is not shown as a part of India. Neither is it shown as disputed territory. But, it is blatantly shown as a part of Pakistan. See the adjoining image and it will be clear to you. The border of PoK and Pakistan is not separated, but PoK is engulfed into Pakistan. Quite contrary to Google's "standard practice". And of course, Google has shown the China-occupied Kashmir too, as a part of China, again, deviating from "standard practice". The entire world knows that Kashmir is still a "disputed territory". And Google being search engine giants, should not be ignorant of this stand.

These double standard shows how various companies and nations have being towing in line with Chinese stances, fearing Chinese wrath if they do not follow. But, they do not seem to care if they incur the wrath of the Indians. Somehow, India doesn't seem to matter to them. At the most, after doing such activities, they will make a statement, "India is an important stake holder for us," and we will feel happy about this. Nothing else after that.

But, what next? Google is blatantly and unabashedly committing these blunders. What can be done about it, is the question. For one, I've abandoned the Google search engine (Google's bread and butter) and switched to Yahoo! Now, many would say, that I should switch to some other blog service, well, I might just do that. But it is search engine that earns Google most of its revenues. If Indians slowly stop using Google's search engine, then there should be some cause of concern for Google.
Google please answer: To which country do Arunachal Pradesh and J&K belong?SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend


  1. a line on google maps...Who cares!!! The dispute will never be solved because the current situation is a Nash Equilibrium.

  2. This is a revelation to me who faithfully believes the maps and info doled out by Google. I thought that at least in the info part there would not be any discrepancies. I don't even think India is aware of all this. Do you think the government will do something if it knows or does it know and thinks that its just another case of misinformation?

  3. @Kaushik,
    You should care, as Google is spreading incorrect information. Whether the dispute is resolved or not is another issue. That Google toes China's line shows how China is a centre of power. If India asks Google to do so, it will demonstrate our resolve to maintain territorial integrity.

    Do not completely rely on the information provided on the internet. Because, it is seldom written in an objective manner. I am not optimistic about action on the government's part. So, it is for people like us to start this movement. Only then, will probably the government bother to do something about it.

  4. Thanks for blogging about it.. I didnt have any idea about this blunder being commited by google.. :(

    Our govt. is not taking any action regarding this??

  5. @Shweta,

    If the government was doing something, we would hear about it. Currently it is not doing anything about this.