India doesn’t want to talk about Kashmir. That much has been clear since Modi took over, but it doesn’t want anyone else to talk about it either. Al Jazeera has been taken off air for five days after the Qatar based news channel aired a map where Kashmir was allegedly misrepresented. The map in question had a portion of Indian held Jammu and Kashmir, including Aksai Chin, not being shown as Indian Territory. The channel also did not show Lakshadweep and Andaman Islands in some of the maps. The anger at Al Jazeera’s maps has been fermenting since 2013. The country’s Inter-ministerial committee said that the channel had committed “cartographic aggression” and recommended that it deserved to be given a “deterrent punishment for its misdemeanour.”Al Jazeera has said that all maps are generated by an internationally known software and all maps are compatible with official UN maps.

Of all the security terms coming out of South Asia, cartographic aggression may well take the cake. The fact of the matter is that India is trying very hard to control all discourse on the Kashmir issue. This is part of policy to make the world believe that Kashmir is Indian territory, and once international opinion openly favours India, policy and treaties will follow. International treaties are almost always made in favour of the dominant countries. Pakistan can stress the need for diplomacy all it likes, India will not come to the table.

The other issue is the Indian government’s increasingly intolerant attitude to free speech. In March, the Indian government banned the showing of India’s Daughter, a documentary about a gang rape in Delhi. Back in 2011, The Economist accused India of hostile censorship after being forced by the country’s authorities to cover up a map. The map depicted the disputed area of Kashmir as being divided between Pakistan, India and China. A majority, if not all international maps show the territory of Kashmir as being disputed, even though in Pakistan, Kashmir is represented as Pakistani territory. Imagine the ruckus that we could create if we started demanding that international media start revising the map as well. May be that might prompt India to resume talks and give real weight to the term “cartographic aggression”.