ICC World T20 TV production firm ‘severs’ Kashmir from India


Srinagar: Well-known London-based television production company Sunset+Vine has ‘severed’ a portion of Jammu and Kashmir in its official manual for the ongoing ICC World Twenty20.

Sunset+Vine is producing the telecast for STAR India Pvt. Ltd., broadcast rights holder of the ICC.

On Page 4 of the 25-page manual (see photo), which has been distributed internally to the members of the production team, Sunset+Vine has printed a map of India on which the venues where the matches of the World Twenty20 are being played have been marked.

In the map, the company has shown the northern-most portion of Jammu and Kashmir — that Pakistan lays claim to and over which India and Pakistan are in constant talks — outside India’s borders.

However, Sunset+Vine has not explained why it choose to take that part ‘out of India’ when India vehemently claims that portion to be an integral part of India.

Congress leader Manish Tewari, who was the Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, in the previous UPA government said it was the sacrilege to redraw India’s map.

“It’s a matter of serious concern. The government of India should either deny permission to this company to operate in India, in terms of whatever coverage they do of cricket, till the time they correct the map,” Tewari said as reported by Outlook.

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“Maps of India are available with the Survey of India. There is an advisory of the Ministry of I&B, which I [as Minister] had issued way back in 2012, saying that anybody who portrays the map of India it should be in consonance with what the Survey of India portrays, either in the physical or political map of India,” he pointed out.

“Therefore, anybody who is not in consonance with that particular rule should not be allowed to operate in India in any manner. The government of India needs to be a little more aggressive in ensuring that whatever if the map of India, as delineated by the Survey of India, that should be portrayed by any entity which wants to operate in India in any manner,” he says.

It is, however, not the first time that a foreign production company engaged in a cricket event in India has voluntarily decided to redraw the map of India. In 2013, International Management Group (IMG), another London-based global giant, had made a similar transgression during the IPL.

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IMG produces the telecast for Multi Screen Media. At the time also, the IMG had chopped off almost the same portion of Jammu and Kashmir as Sunset+Vine has done, in its 76-page production manual. However, IMG had, alongside the India map, written these words: “The borders of Kashmir are in dispute. India, Pakistan and China have differing claims, therefore the border of India may not be correct.” This time, Sunset+Vine has not printed any such clarification.

The India map appears on the page next to Sunset+Vine chairman Jeff Foulser’s ‘welcome’ message for his production unit.

Interestingly, this manual has been prepared for a tournament that is being played in India and an Indian, Shashank Manohar, is chairman of the International Cricket Council, which organises World Twenty20.

Sunset+Vine has made another major error on the same page on which the map has been printed. It has shown only seven venues for the ICC World Twenty20 whereas matches are being staged at eight centres. The missing city is Chennai. And the production manual also does not identify on the map where Chennai is, unlike the seven cities shown.

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