BBC apologizes for incomplete India map after complaint
(Sourced from PTI)
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) on Tuesday apologized for any offense caused and rectified what it termed the mistaken use of an inaccurate graphical representation of the Indian map, which had the boundaries of Jammu and Kashmir entirely missing. The map was shown on a BBC World Service video broadcast titled US Election 2020: What do countries around the world want from Joe Biden.
The incomplete map triggered a formal letter of complaint by the Labour Party MP Virendra Sharma. Sharma, who is also chair of the Indo-British All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), termed the action as "deeply insulting" in a letter addressed to the Director-General of the BBC, Tim Davie, and called for an explanation of the editorial guidelines followed.
The letter issued by MP Sharma on Monday stated, "This map shows an incomplete India, it does not highlight Jammu and Kashmir which is recognized as a core and integral part of India." "To represent Jammu and Kashmir as anything less than Indian is deeply insulting to millions of Indians living here in the UK and India," it further read.
Sharma's letter called on the BBC to withdraw the graphic and republish with the correct geographical boundaries and also called for action to prevent this from happening again. It followed a social media outpouring, with members of the Indian diaspora demanding immediate action.
Sharma said, "The BBC World Service is a fantastic resource, an amazing part of our soft-power and a real force for good around the world. This record is under threat if it is perceived as partisan and anti-India as is currently being asserted online." Sharma represents the heavily Indian diaspora constituency Ealing Southall constituency in West London.
Sharma said, "As a member of the International Development Select Committee, I have seen the great work the World Service can do, I do not want to see that put at risk."
The BBC updated the online broadcast with the map reflecting the Jammu and Kashmir boundaries in the standard format used by the channel in the UK. "From London, we mistakenly published a map of India online which contained inaccuracies and is not the standard map used by BBC News. It has now been corrected. We apologize for any offense caused," a BBC spokesperson said.