The relationship between Australia & India can, at times, be a prickly one. Here's a news story was doing the rounds here yesterday which highlights just how "prickly" it can get:
J&K, Arunachal Pradesh missing from India's map on Australian govt website
Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury New Delhi, June 13, 2011 Updated 08:49 IST
The erroneous portrayal of the Indian map in the website of Australia's Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC), omitting the states of Jammu and Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh, has invited a strong reaction and raised demands of a protest by the government here.
However, with no protests from the ministry of external affairs (MEA) on the matter yet, there are demands that New Delhi should lodge a complaint against Australia to prevent such occurrences in the future. India's former high commissioner to Australia G. Parthasarathy suggested that the MEA should be tough and raise the issue with Canberra, former foreign secretary Lalit Man Singh said as a standard practice the ministry should raise the issue with their Australian counterpart.
Parthasarthy, who was India's high commissioner during the 1998 nuclear tests, said Australia tends to be ambivalent on certain issues and particularly have an intrusive role in the matters of the Commonwealth countries. The issue should be viewed seriously in the aftermath of China, issuing stapled visas for J&K residents, thereby questioning the very status of the state, experts said. India had then strongly raised the matter during various meetings with China.
Earlier, the Indian community in Australia had lodged strong protests with the Australian government over the incorrect map. Following this Canberra admitted the error and assured that it will be removed from DIAC website.
Diplomats in the Australian high commission in Delhi said the map was an error and is being removed from the website. They claimed that it was probably a technical error and indicated that Canberra might probe on how the error occurred. Peeved over the development, Council of Indian Australians Inc (CIA), that represents the Indian-Australian community in New South Wales, said in a statement that it has "expressed its strongest displeasure at the incorrect map of India in the DIAC's website."
This is the map which caused all the fuss:
Here's another version of the same story:
Australian website doesn’t show Kashmir, Arunachal as part of India
Sydney : An Australian government website has wrongly portrayed the map of India – omitting the states of Jammu and Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh – leading to the “strong displeasure” of the migrant Indian community.
The wrong map was put out on the website of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) in its country profiles section.
The Council of Indian Australians Inc (CIA), the body representing the Indian-Australian community in New South Wales, said in a statement that it has “expressed its strongest displeasure at the incorrect map of India in the DIAC’s website, which excludes Jammu and Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh as parts of India”.
The Council, based in North Ryde, near Sydney, has asked the DIAC to “rectify the incorrect Indian map” on its website.
“The CIA Inc wishes to bring this to the attention of the government of Australia and urges the DIAC to rectify this incorrect map and display the revised map showing correct boundaries,” the statement said.
“Jammu and Kashmir is an integral, inseparable and inalienable part of India and will always remain so. A brief review of the history shows J&K became an inalienable part of India on 25th October, 1947 when the King of J&K Maharaja Hari Singh signed the ‘Instrument of accession’ with India.”
“This Instrument was executed between India’s then Governor General Lord Louis Mountbatten and Maharaja Hari Singh on 27th October, 1947. All rulers of States and Kingdoms in India were entitled to choose one of three options – join India, join Pakistan or remain independent – at the time of Indian independence in 1947.”
“J&K joined India in 1947,” the statement said, underlining the sentence. (IANS)