UK: BBC accused of hypocrisy over ‘Indian-occupied Kashmir’ description
Why doesn’t the BBC apply similar descriptions to, for example, Northern Ireland. Does the BBC have an agenda?
The query was first put to the British broadcaster on Sunday by British-Indian film director Shekhar Kapur and it quickly went viral.
'Hey @BBCWorld.. each time you call Kashmir "Indian Occupied Kashmir" I keep wondering why you refuse to call Northern Ireland "British Occupied Ireland"?' Kapur asked in a tweet that rapidly racked up more than 20,000 retweets and over 50,000 likes.
The post was shared by the vice president of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, Baijayant Panda, who said that Jammu and Kashmir acceded to India under the same rules that Britain applied to all the states in colonial India.
'It never was a bilateral or international issue. So please stop the hypocrisy, and stop stoking trouble where there isn’t any,”'he said.
Other responses to Kapur’s message accused the state-owned media company of applying the 'occupied' tag to other regions including Tibet, Hong Kong and Balochistan. It also prompted the creation of the #BritishOccupiedIreland hashtag, which also picked up retweet traffic.
'Either BBC News stops referring to the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir as Indian Occupied Kashmir or the 1.32 billion people of India flood social media with #BritishOccupied #Ireland #Wales & #Scotland posts,' one person commented in a message that was widely shared.
Kashmir has been a flashpoint between India and Pakistan for more than 60 years. Tensions were ratcheted up earlier this week when New Delhi revoked a constitutional provision that allowed the Muslim-majority region to have its own flag, constitution, and autonomy over its internal administration.
Editor's comment - The BBC is very selective when it comes to describing countries as 'occupied' - I remember when it continually referred to the 'Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip' when Israel had acquired those lands fairly and squarely at the end of the 1967 war (which the Arabs started and then lost.) The BBC certainly does have an agenda and it's not in accordance with their stated values of openness, transparency, fairness and even-handedness.