map of India on the website of the World Health Organization (WHO), depicting the Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh in a totally different colour, has evoked angry reactions from the Indian diaspora in Britain. WHO, however, held that it follows UN guidelines and practice regarding maps, reported Times of India.
The map is on WHO’s Covid-19 situation dashboard that shows the latest pandemic numbers by country. Whilst the rest of India is coloured navy blue, J&K and Ladakh have been marked in grey as if they a separate country. The disputed border area of Aksai Chin is demarcated with grey with blue stripes, the same shade as that of China.
Pankaj, 40, an Indian IT consultant from Jharkhand, who lives in London, first saw the map shared in a WhatsApp group. He told ToI, “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. 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 WHO is very high.”
The LoC can be faintly seen on the grey segment. “Even if the LoC is there, PoK should be part of India, as should J&K,” Pankaj said. “If they are going to depict states as different colours, every state should have one. This shows they don’t recognise Kashmir as part of India.”
“WHO’s approach is to follow UN guidelines and practice regarding maps as far as possible. WHO, as a UN specialized agency, follows the United Nations on representation of territories and boundaries on maps because the United Nations is entrusted with addressing issues involving matters of geo-politics for the UN system” was WHO’s response to TOI’s query on the matter