Indian government calls Wikipedia officials after controversial edits to cricketer's page

India flag with logo of Wikipedia and edit icon

The rivalry between India and Pakistan has been going on for over 75 years and one avenue in which it reaches boiling point quite frequently is the sport of cricket. Yesterday, during an international Asia Cup match, India lost to Pakistan at the the end of a tight contest in the Super 4 round of the tournament. One of the turning points of the match was Indian cricketer Arshdeep Singh dropping a catch of Pakistani batsman Asif Ali during a key moment of the game. This dropped catch arguably proved to be pivotal in Pakistan's win over its opponent within the next few balls.

However, this match has also created an issue between the two nations in the cyberspace. After the match, it appears that Singh's Wikipedia page was edited to indicate that he was drafted into the "Khalistan" cricket squad in 2018. All references of India were changed to Khalistan and Arshdeep's Singh was also changed to "Major Arshdeep Singh Bajwa", likely a reference to Pakistan's current army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

For those unaware, the Khalistan Movement is a Sikh separatist movement for a homeland that does not exist. Considering that the movement demands a sovereign state for the Sikhs of India, its promotion faces stiff resistance from the Indian government.

India's Junior IT minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar has claimed that the controversial Wikipedia edit was actually made by Pakistan in order to cause unrest in the region following the high stakes cricket match:

Meanwhile, India's IT ministry has summoned Wikipedia executives and demanded clarification on the matter. It's unclear how the Wikipedia officials will respond since the website is a public encyclopedia which allows pretty much anyone to edit information.

In a statement to Economic Times India, an official from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) noted that:

It is a serious issue. The edits have been traced back to servers in neighboring countries and can cause serious damage to the internal peace and national safety of India. We will ask them (Wikipedia executives) how such an edit could be allowed to stay on for quite some time.

Wikipedia is yet to respond publicly to the Indian government's orders.

Via: TechCrunch, Economic Times India

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