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As many of you know, I love to create maps using my original paintings. My World maps are extremely popular with my country maps running behind in second. Sometime last year, I got a special request to produce a map of India. I was delighted to work on this piece because India is a very uniquely shaped country which for an artist keeps it interesting. I finished the work and listed it on Fine Art America. It wasn’t long before another artist who was Indian pointed out that I had left off the upper most region. This region is called Kashmir.
The region is divided among three countries in a territorial dispute: Pakistan controls the northwest portion (Northern Areas and ‘Azad’ Kashmir), India controls the central and southern portion (Jammu and Kashmir) and Ladakh, and the People’s Republic of China controls the northeastern portion (Aksai Chin and the Trans-Karakoram Tract). India controls the majority of the Siachen Glacier area, including the Saltoro Ridge passes, whilst Pakistan controls the lower territory just southwest of the Saltoro Ridge. India controls 101,338 km2 (39,127 sq mi) of the disputed territory, Pakistan controls 85,846 km2(33,145 sq mi), and the People’s Republic of China controls the remaining 37,555 km2 (14,500 sq mi).
A lot of the maps I looked at before putting mine together left this area off or had it shaded out. So I left it off too. However, after consulting with a few Indian friends and my Southeast Asian studies professor husband, I decided to include it in my map. As you can see, my map clearly shows this highly contentious region.
Two countries would like to see this map changed and it is possible with enough fighting that it will. As an artist, it is not for me to take sides. I am not making a statement here. It is simply for me to create and if change is required in the future, I will do so.
Until then…..enjoy India!