Row Over Distorted India Map in Bangla Book

Published: 07th February 2015 05:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th February 2015 05:58 AM   |  A+A-

KOLKATA:A distorted map of India showing a large area of Kashmir as part of Pakistan in a Bangladesh Tourism brochure, which was being distributed at the International Kolkata Book Fair here led to an inquiry by the Bangladesh government.

The BJP’s Yuva Morcha staged a protest outside the Bangladesh stall at the book fair, which has been going on here since January 27, after it detected the distorted map. The book fair authorities immediately contacted Dhaka’s Deputy High Commission here apprehending snow balling of the agitation. The press section officials contacted Dhaka and its Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Menon immediately ordered them to withdraw the brochures and ordered the setting up of an inquiry committee.

Officials from the Bangladesh Deputy High Commission rushed to their stall at the book fair and withdrew all the brochures and tendered an apology to the fair authorities and the protesters.  West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee is scheduled to visit Bangladesh on a three-day trip on beginning on February 19 at the invitation of the Awami League Government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, to participate in functions on February 21 for the Language Day held in memory of the martyrs, who led down their lives fighting for the cause of the Bengali language.

As such, the country did not want to take any risk at the cost of the bilateral relations. During her visit, the two main issues to be discussed are the Teesta River Water Sharing Treaty and the Land Boundary Agreement for exchange of enclaves between the two countries. The brochure published by a Bangladeshi company, Graphosman depicted the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir region as part of Pakistan and the Line of Control as the International Border between India and Pakistan. 

Hearing about protests by the BJP youth wing, Menon constituted a seven-member inquiry committee to probe how such a negligent act was committed in the brochure meant for distribution at the International Kolkata Book Fair, which was held in high regard in the country as several Bengali publishers from Bangladesh too participated in it every year. Sources said that Menon wanted Tourism Department officials to be identified and action taken as there were several Jamaat-e-Islami sympathisers within the bureaucracy.

A senior diplomat of the Deputy High Commission said, “The map had been in circulation for the last seven years, but no one had noticed the error.

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