The World Health Organisation’s map using different colours to show Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh from the rest of India on its website has evoked some angry reactions from the Indian diaspora in Britain
According to the Times of India, the two newly created Union Territories of India have been marked in grey colour, separate from India which appears in navy blue. On the other hand, the disputed border space of Aksai Chin is demarcated in grey with blue stripes, the identical shade as that of China.
The map is on WHO’s Covid-19 scenario dashboard that shows the most recent pandemic numbers by nation. However, the WHO has clarified that it follows the United Nation guidelines and practice regarding maps.
‘China could be behind this’
An Indian IT consultant, who lives in London, first noticed the map shared that was shared in a WhatsApp group. He said he was shocked to see the Indian map which showed Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh in different colours and suggested that China could behind this as it gives a lot of funding to WHO.
“I was shocked that such a big organisation like WHO with such a big responsibility in the world could do this. Now that India is the chair it is even more important for WHO not to indulge in such activities,” the IT consultant, Pankaj was quoted as saying by the TOI.
“I know China gives huge amounts of funding to WHO and Pakistan gets loans from China and wants to keep this topic active. My feeling is that China is behind this as the influence of China on the WHO is very high,” he added.
Nandini Singh, who heads social media at Reach India (UK), a diaspora group, lashed out at the WHO saying that depicting Indian territory in different colours demonstrates it is in a nexus with China.
“Instead of thanking India for what it has done to fight Covid-19, including supplying PPE and vaccine to the world, this is a deliberate attempt to hurt India. WHO needs to apologise to India and correct the error,” she said.
Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan took over as chair of the WHO executive board last year.