Twitter shows Leh in China, India issues warning to CEO
The Indian government has written a strongly-worded letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey after the micro-blogging website showed Leh as a part of China. Twitter was asked to respect India's sovereignty and told that its misadventures will not be tolerated. IT Secretary Ajay Sawhney wrote to Dorsey telling that such incidents raise questions about Twitter's neutrality and fairness. Here's what went down.
The row finds its origins in a live broadcast by senior journalist Nitin Gokhale from Leh's Hall of Fame. Shockingly, Twitter had identified the area as China's part. Drawing attention to the same, Gokhale had tweeted, "Giving Hall of Fame as the location and guess what it is saying Jammu & Kashmir, Peoples Republic of China! Are you guys nuts? (sic)"
After Gokhale's tweet, several users complained of the same and called the mistake outrageous. Responding to the matter, Twitter had said, "We became aware of this technical issue on Sunday, and understand and respect the sensitivities around it. Teams have worked swiftly to investigate and resolve the concerned geotag issue." The statement, notwithstanding, the Indian government wrote to Dorsey, highlighting its objections.
In the letter, Sawhney told Dorsey that Leh is Ladakh's headquarters, and both Ladakh as well as Jammu and Kashmir, were "integral and inalienable" parts of India. The areas are governed by the Indian Constitution, said the letter. "Such attempts not only bring disrepute to Twitter but also raise questions about its neutrality and fairness as an intermediary," the letter reportedly read.
India's letter to Dorsey comes amid raging tensions with China. The stand-off which started in April-May hasn't died down even after several rounds of talks between senior military officers. For the first time in decades, the Line of Actual Control (LAC) saw bloodshed after China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) attacked Indian soldiers in the Galwan Valley. 20 Indian personnel were martyred on June 15.
Just last week, China went as far as saying that it doesn't recognize the "illegally established" UT of Ladakh. "China doesn't recognize Ladakh Union Territory, illegally established by India and also Arunachal Pradesh. China stands against the development of infrastructure facilities aimed at military contention along the border area," the Chinese foreign ministry had said. India was quick to slam China.
"Our position on this has always been clear and consistent. The union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh have been, are, and would remain an integral part of India. China has no locus standi to comment on India's internal matters," said MEA's Anurag Srivastava.