Kerala: Day after jewellery firm advertises Pak Independence Day, hacker group defaces sites from neighbouring country. [Representational Image]Pixabay

The state of Kerala happened to witness a mixed bag of emotions in the run-up to and on Independence Day. A prominent jewellery group first exhorted people to observe Pakistan's Independence Day on Aug. 14 in an advertising campaign, and a day later, a hacker group from the state defaced several Pakistani websites. As if that was not enough, Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor pointed out that the tallest flagpole in the state had no flag on Independence Day!

Sunday, Aug. 14, was Pakistan's Independence Day, but Kerala based jewellery brand Malabar Gold and Diamonds ran an advertisement on its Facebook page asking people to participate in a quiz on Pakistan on the occasion. The advertisement was susbequently taken down from the page, but not before it had garnered nearly 1 million "likes" on it. 

The company subsequently blamed the gaffe on the international agency that handles its overseas marketing. "We have branches in Gulf countries and the international agency that is handling the business, shapes the marketing strategies targeting each customer group. Recently, they designed a campaign for the Philippines and the success of the campaign might have prompted the agency to look for more such ventures," Malabar Gold (India) marketing director Amjad Hussein was quoted as saying by the Times of India.

Meanwhile, on Monday, Aug. 15, a group of hackers named Kerala Cyber Warriors claimed to have defaced 50 Pakistani websites on the occasion of India's Independence Day. What they had done was to add a new page to these websites named "independence.php," which, when accessed, showed an anti-Pakistan and pro-India message, and began to play the song "Maa Tujhe Salaam" by AR Rahman. 

However, there seemed to be some holes in their claims, as many of the websites they mentioned seemed to have recovered from their hack quite fast, or not to have been affected at all. 

Meanwhile, Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor on Monday posted a photo on Twitter of the tallest flagpole in Kerala, situated in front of the Kanakakkunnu Palace, without a flag. He wrote: "Pointing to the missing flag on Kerala's tallest flagpole. @KeralaTourism's way of celebrating #IndependenceDayIndia [sic]."

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