CANADIAN Indians are outraged over the sale of globes manufactured in China which exempt the troubled region of Kashmir from India.
There have been a number of shoppers who bought the globes since late 2017 – sold at major consumer outlets Costco and Homesense – who were angry to find the state of Jammu and Kashmir not included as Indian territory, reported the Hindustan Times.
The only Muslim-majority state in India, Jammu and Kashmir is part of a decades-long territorial conflict between Pakistan and India. China meanwhile claims the Shaksam Valley and Aksai Chin regions of the state.
“A country can now freely engage in a veiled war through business and trade practices by influencing young minds with long-term consequences,” National Alliance of Indo-Canadians president Azad Kaushik said, alluding to China, as quoted by the Times.
“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.”
Another globe sold in Canada during December also reportedly omitted the state of Arunachal Pradesh, which China also lays claim to parts of and refers to as “South Tibet”.
Last year, China and India’s security forces were engaged in a standoff which lasted more than two months, sparking fears of armed conflict on their remote Himalayan border. The two powers fought a border war in 1962 in which China emerged victorious.
“I think it’s very important that we don’t let our country be divided into pieces,” said Sadhna Joshi, a professor at the University of Toronto who bought one of the globes.
“Action must be taken and these must be withdrawn everywhere.”
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year snubbed a Beijing-organised summit on China’s Belt and Road initiative, over objection to a key infrastructure project which runs through Pakistani controlled Kashmir.