Indians were depicted as hunger struck country deprived of basic necessities like food in the cartoon published yesterday in Rupert Murdoch-owned largest Australian newspaper — The Australian. The cartoon was published in response to the historical Paris climate meet in which India played a major role. In addition, the cartoon initiated controversies and some found the cartoon to be racist remark for Indian.
In the cartoon, one can clearly see a hungry and malnutritioned Indian family and to suppress the hunger, a family member has broken the solar panels and wants to eat solar chunks with mango chutney. “Hang on, let me try one with a bit of mango chutney”, says male in the cartoon. While another member of the family is trying to stop him saying, ” It’s no good, you can’t eat them”.
The image was made veteran cartoonist Bill Leak who drew it in response to the climate deal reached in Paris on Saturday night, and India’s leading role in ratifying the treaty. Soon after the cartoon was published in The Australian on Monday, the cartoon went viral in social media and many slammed the image as racist.
After several days of negotiation, Paris climate deal was sealed in which America, China and India played a major role and deal promised to limit global warming under 2 degree Celcius. Since developed nations are major contributors to global warming thus they will supply more funds to curb the temperature. India single-handedly protested on behalf of developing nations that developing nations should get financial support so that they can develop and switch to environment friendly green technology. Due to India’s demand, a commitment was made that $ 100 billion a year from 2020 will be supplied to help developing nations.
“This cartoon is unequivocally racist and draws on very base stereotypes of third world, underdeveloped people who don’t know what to do with technology,” said Amanda Wise, an associate professor of sociology at Macquarie University, said in her view the cartoon was shocking and would be unacceptable in the UK, the US or Canada. “India is the technology centre of the world right now and has some of the most high-tech industries on the planet in that part of the world. The underlying message is that people in developing countries don’t need all these technologies to do with climate change — they need food,” she said.
Many veterans criticised the cartoon on by tweeting on Twitter.
— David Pope (@davpope) December 13, 2015
Hey Bill Leak, some facts on India's renewable energy sector. They're a lot smarter than your cartoons are funny. https://t.co/3hkkSwpmk3
— Mr Denmore (@MrDenmore) December 14, 2015
— Anthony Element (@observationpt) December 13, 2015