The 2015 controversy over China’s state-owned television CCTV showing India’s map without Jammu and Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh while Prime Minister Modi was visiting the country has found a new facet.
Social media erupted as Indian-origin customers learnt about ‘Made in China’ globes being sold at leading Canadian stores which depicted Jammu and Kashmir as a ‘disputed area’ and Arunachal Pradesh as a part of China.
Pictures of the globe being sold at multinational retail chain, Costco stores in Canada have gone viral as Twitter users expressed shock and anger, Times Now reported.
According to reports, the globes depict Kashmir as a separate territory and a complaint had been filed with Costco management, as Indian customers demanded withdrawal of the globe from sale immediately.
A professor at University of Toronto who encountered a similar globe at another outlet in Canada called Homesense told the Hindustan Times, “I think it’s very important that we don’t let our country be divided into pieces. Action must be taken and these must be withdrawn everywhere.”
Sandeep Deswal an Indian-origin Canadian purchased a globe as a present for his 6-year-old daughter and noticed a similar discrepancy. Upon closer inspection he realised that “Jammu and Kashmir had been shown as separate from India,” he told the Hindustan Times.
These erroneous globes have raked up concerns amid Indo-Canadians who worry about their impact on Indian-origin children born abroad.
“If we don’t tell her Kashmir is an integral part of the country, she will get a different image of India. The next generation will believe something else,” Deswal said.
An Indo-Canadian organisation, National Alliance of Indo-Canadians (NAIC) has taken the matter into their own hands appealing to stores to pull out the globes. NAIC President Azad Kaushik told Hindustan Times, “A country can now freely engage in a veiled war through business and trade practices by influencing young minds with long-term consequences. The manipulation of a map on an educational globe is but an example of a new kind of war through business in a globalised world.”
Costco which is the second largest retailer after Walmart and which operates more than 700 warehouses has been quick to respond to the complaints by withdrawing the product, however NAIC’s complaint to Homesense is under review in the company’s product compliance department