For the last few days, security professionals are demanding that Sans Institute should apologize for depicting a wrong map of India in one of their conferences showing POK as not part of India and for not admitting their error even when pointed out.
As this report indicates, SANS refused to remove a poster that had been put up containing the erroneous map and instead offered what could be called as promise to give some business leads to the person who brought it up.
The security community is demanding that SANS offer a public apology for the mistake which the India representatives of the Institute are not willing to do. Their contention is that the map design came from US and they were not aware of the error.
This admission is even more objectionable since this indicates that the local head of the company was not able to recognize the distortion of the map because he was perhaps not aware of India and its current and past history. Secondly it also indicates that SANS must be using this map of India elsewhere in the world also and campaigning the cause of Pakistan.
It is therefore necessary for Government of India to issue a formal notice to SANS to show cause why action should not be initiated against the Company for insulting the country.
At the same time, I feel that the root of the problem may lie with many global agencies which are depicting wrong maps of India. Lonely Planet, Victor maps were two I immediately spotted and there are many more such sites. Even Google was depicting a wrong map earlier and could have corrected now.
For those who provide maps, it may be difficult to balance the views of different countries and India has a problem with Pakistan and China both of which have raised claims on our lands and the global community may not be fully aware of the issues.
It is the duty of the Indian Government to ensure that maps are properly depicted showing Indian interests in the correct perspective.
At the same time, within the boundaries of India there is no reason why educated people need to make mistakes and when mistakes are pointed out why they should not have the humility to correct their mistakes.
I appreciate the strong opposition expressed by some of my friends in the information security profession and urge the Government to initiate action to prevent such happenings in future.
I presume that the person concerned in SANS does not belong to Mamata Bannerjee band wagon which have its own view of what is India !.