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Wednesday, June 1

Google Again Makes Indian Boundary Contorversial

Google's depiction of Indian boundaries has raised a stink with a right-wing group that has decided to stage a protest against the global online technology giant for having left Arunachal Pradesh and Kashmir out of Indian bounds in their Analytics product.
THIS IS THE LIMIT: The state of Kashmir's boundary as seen here, is marked with a dotted line, as Google considers it a 'disputed' territory.
THIS IS THE LIMIT: The state of Kashmir's boundary as seen here, is marked with a dotted line, as Google considers it a 'disputed' territory.
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The Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) on Tuesday staged a demonstration against Google at its Mumbai offices and have appealed to Indian citizens to stop using Gmail, Google Search and other services as a mark of protest.

HJS functionary Narendra Surve said that the group is now mulling a demonstration outside Google's India headquarters in Hyderabad. "Our mails to them have gone unanswered but we will continue to protest if the maps do not change," said Surve.

Interestingly, the map of India hosted on shows Arunachal Pradesh and Kashmir as part of the country, while in the map hosted on, these areas are marked by a dotted line.

The HJS have also launched an online petition that has had over 4000 signatories so far. The petition will be forwarded to the Home Ministry and US Embassy apart from Google authorities.

In a statement released by Google, the company said that their demarcation of disputed territories was in line with their global policies. "It has been Google's consistent and global policy to depict disputed regions as per the claims made by the disputing/claiming nations on its global properties. 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 of global properties in a dispassionate and accurate manner," said a statement from Google India.

They however added that Google Analytics was not trying to display accurate images of country maps. "The depiction of geographic regions on the tool is an illustrative representation of the region and is neither drawn to scale nor does it try to represent an accurate image of the maps. This is a common practice, and users of mapping products do not generally look to tools such as Analytics for accurate map information," said the statement.

Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Morocco, Netherlands and China are some of the other countries that have had objections to boundaries defined by Google products.