People in India have been taking to Twitter to accuse the BBC of "hypocrisy" for referring to Kashmir as "Indian occupied", asking the broadcaster to apply a similar description to the North.
Yesterday, British-Indian film director Shekhar Kapur tweeted a question to the British state broadcaster asking why it didn't describe the North as "British Occupied Ireland".
— Shekhar Kapur (@shekharkapur) August 11, 2019
His tweet read: “Hey @BBCWorld.. each time you call Kashmir ‘Indian Occupied Kashmir’ I keep wondering why you refuse to call Northern Ireland ‘British Occupied Ireland’?”
His tweet quickly went viral in Indai as it accrued more than 35,000 retweets and over 90,000 likes.
It has subsequently been shared by Baijayant Panda, the vice president of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, and has garnered reactions from all over the country.
He said Jammu and Kashmir acceded to India under the same rules that Britain had applied to all the states in colonial India.
Fact is @BBCWorld, J&K acceded to India in the same environment & under the exact same rules that YOUR country applied to ALL the princely states.
He said: “It never was a bilateral or international issue. So please stop the hypocrisy, and stop stoking trouble where there isn’t any.”
Others accused the BBC of applying the "occupied" tag to other regions including Tibet, Hong Kong and Balochistan and has led to the creation of the #BritishOccupiedIreland hashtag, which started trending in India.
Hey @BBC @BBCWorld, Ireland want to get free from illegal occupation by England. Pls write something about #BritishOccupiedIreland as well, instead of spreading propaganda against #Kashmir only.#BoycottBBC @GOVUK @UKParliament @10DowningStreet pic.twitter.com/4mkY9RJHjv— Avinash Srivastava ® (@go4avinash) August 12, 2019
The original Name of Northern Ireland— டில்லி மாஸ்... (@Tiruppur_Sailor) August 11, 2019
Another Twitter user said: "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.”
India and Pakistan have fought two wars over control of Kashmir, and the first one ended in 1948 with a promise of a UN-sponsored referendum in the territory.
It has never been held.
On Saturday, Pakistan said that with the support of China, it would take up India’s unilateral actions in Kashmir with the UN Security Council and may approach the UN Human Rights Commission over what it says is the “genocide” of the Kashmiri people.
Kashmir is claimed in its entirety by both India and Pakistan and is divided between the arch-rivals. Rebels have been fighting New Delhi’s rule for decades in the Indian-controlled portion, and most Kashmiri residents want either independence or a merger with Pakistan.