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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Arunachal is in India and in China too

November 27, 2009

Drimi Chaudhuri
Hindustan Times
November 26, 2009

Kolkata, Nov. 26 -- Where is Arunachal Pradesh?
Google is certain that it is in India and is also
equally firm it is in China. And for good measure
the world's most-used search engine describes it
as a disputed terriroty as well.

The option thrown up among these three depends
where on earth you are googling from.

If you’re in India, Arunachal Pradesh is a part
of India and if you punch in your question on the
search engine from a location in China, then
Arunachal Pradesh is shown part of that country.
And if you are anywhere else in the world trying
to locate Arunachal Pradesh on Google, then it is
displayed as a  ‘disputed’ territory.

Google provides a map service of the Earth, based
on satellite imagery, maps, terrain and 3D images of cities.

A search for Arunachal Pradesh on Google Map
throws up a variety of links, giving the North
East provinces' exact latitude and longitude. The
hilly province’s ownership, however, is an entirely different matter.

 From Google international portal, Arunachal is
marked with a dotted line, depicting the area to
be a disputed territory. Searching from Google’s
Indian portal, it’s seen as an integral part of India.

A search from Google China, on the other hand,
does not show the Sino-Indian border, with Arunachal seamlessly merged in.

In an official statement to the Hindustan Times,
Google pointed out that it was "standard
practice" to show disputed regions around the
world on its global products like Google Maps.

"It has been our consistent and global policy to
depict disputed regions as per the claims made by
the disputing/claiming nations. This does not in
any way endorse or affirm the position taken by
any side but merely provides complete information
on the prevailing geo-political situation to our
users in a dispassionate and accurate manner,” the spokesperson said.

The statement further explained that with
localised products like Google Maps India, there
could be depictions of the country’s position "as
per the mandate of their local laws."

While this seemed like Google’s attempt at being
politically correct, several blogs tracking
global geopolitical situations have scathingly
criticised the search engine’s policy of
customising maps to suit nationalistic ends.

Arunachal Pradesh -- 27.06 degrees North and 93.3
degrees East -- is the eastern most state on the
Indian map, with Myanmar to its east, Bhutan in northwest and bordering Tibet.

The province has been a sore point for both India
and China, with the latter claiming the province
as its own since 1962, when it captured a large portion of the North East.

The Chinese demanded Arunachal as its own, citing
the Simla accord, signed between British India,
China and Tibet in 1914, defining the official
Sino-Indian border, McMahon Line.
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