Even as PM Modi-led BJP government at the centre has proceeded on its endeavour of setting the historic blunders regarding Jammu and Kashmir right, some of the media channels are undermining the efforts by concurring with the Pakistani worldview of Jammu and Kashmir.
The London feed of AajTak has displayed a distorted version of the Indian union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. In a travel advertisement aired on the IndiaToday group channel, the region of Pakistan occupied Kashmir was conspicuously absent from the map of India, thereby legitimising Pakistan’s claim on the forcibly acquired territory of Kashmir.
— sameet (@thakkar_sameet) January 17, 2020
As can be seen in the video, Aajtak televised a marketing commercial about a travel company-TicketstoIndia.co.uk, ostensibly registered and operated from the Great Britain. The advertisement showed India with the parts of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir missing from its map.
This is not the first time that an Indian media house has portrayed Pakistan occupied Kashmir as a legitimate part of Pakistan. In the aftermath of the abrogation of Article 370, the Wire had released a video seeking to explain ‘the security, political and diplomatic fallout’ of the decision that brought the Himalayan state at par with the other Indian states.
In the video, The Wire displayed the map of Kashmir that included the Indian Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir including areas like Srinagar etc labelled as “Indian Occupied Part”. A large part of Kashmir, that Indians refer to as Pakistan Occupied Kashmir since it has been under the illegal occupation of Pakistan, was labelled as ‘Azad Kashmir’.
In July 2018, while gushing over the elections in Pakistan, Indian Express news daily also erred in showing the correct map of Jammu and Kashmir. In a tweet to explain about the elections in Pakistan, Indian Express had showed Pakistan occupied Kashmir as a Pakistani territory.
On one hand, the BJP government is taking progressive steps towards full assimilation of Jammu and Kashmir within the Indian union. However, some news organisations, on the other hand, are toeing Pakistani line regarding the status of Jammu and Kashmir and thereby weakening the Government of India’s stand vis-a-vis Kashmir.