India bans Al Jazeera for showing 'wrong map of the country'

The channel is set to be banned from broadcasting for five days from March 22, the latest in line of channels to have received the punishment in recent months

Jamie Campbell@jamie_campbell9
Monday 20 April 2015 19:07

India’s government has banned Al Jazeera from broadcasting for five days after it showed an incorrect map of India on multiple occasions in various programmes.

India’s Information and Broadcasting Ministry has said that the Qatar-based channel will be suspended from broadcasting between April 22 and April 27 for showing the map in 2013 and 2014.

They said that Al Jazeera’s mistake broke Indian broadcasting codes.

The maps used by the channel failed to include certain parts of India within its boundaries.

The Surveyor General of India said that “a portion of Indian territory has not been shown as a part of India in some of the maps while the territorial boundary of India is not shown with clarity and proper shape in another map. The channel also did not show Lakshadweep and Andaman Islands in some of the maps,” the Deccan Chronicle reported.

According to the New Indian Express, the country’s Inter-ministerial committee said that the channel had committed “cartographic aggression” and recommended that it deserved to be given a “deterrent punishment for its misdemeanour.”

The maps were apparently shown 12 times between 2013 and 2014 and Al-Jazeera said that it got the maps from an “internationally-known software used by global news providers.”

The channel will not be the first channel to receive this sort of punishment from the Information and Broadcasting Ministry in recent weeks.

The government made NDTV Good Times and Jai Hind to go off air for a day earlier this month for broadcasting programmes with obscene content.

Gujurat-based Sation News TV has been forced off air for 30 days, starting from April 15, for showing a news item that contained nude visuals of a TV actor.

TLC, a channel run by Discovery Communications, was also blocked for a day on April 9 for airing a show that contained unedited sexual language.

On March 4, the Indian government banned the showing of India's Daughter, a documentary on a gang rape in Delhi.

Women protest after the horrific rape and murder of Jyoti Singh in India

Director Leslee Udwin said that the ban was against the principles of democracy: "There is no basis for a ban in a democracy where free speech is one of the pillars of the major pillars of a constitutional society."

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