An Australian newspaper's cartoon that shows skinny, turban-wearing Indians eating solar panels has invited widespread criticism for being "unequivocally racist".
The cartoon on The Australian, drawn by veteran artist Bill Leak, was published in Monday's paper as an apparent response to the climate deal signed in Paris this weekend, where India was a major negotiator.
In the cartoon, Indian men clad in white dhotis and red turbans are shown huddled over solar panels sent by the UN, breaking the panels apart and tossing them away since they are "no good, you can't eat them". A woman in a sari is shown gingerly biting into the solar panels even as her bare chested son looks on timidly. One elderly man is shown spreading mango chutney on the solar panels, to check if that makes the panels edible.
Australian MP Tim Watts called the cartoon "pathetic" and an "embarrassment".
This is pathetic.
What an embarrassment that a cartoon like this could appear in a national Australian... https://t.co/EAtkvJVSUU
— Tim Watts (@TimWattsMP) December 14, 2015
The cartoon has invited widespread condemnation from people across Australia and other parts of the world.
Appallingly racist unfunny cartoon in Australian newspaper considering India has more solar PV installed than Austr. pic.twitter.com/lw9ezLZkcp
— Musca vetustissima (@Mvetustissima) December 14, 2015
— GeorgeMonbiot (@GeorgeMonbiot) December 14, 2015
“This only demonstrates the provincial ignorance of both the journalist, cartoonist and publication” https://t.co/9VcDr7j1xa
— Joe Gorman (@JoeGorman_89) December 14, 2015
— U Bet I'm Gone❗️ (@johndory49) December 14, 2015
This is not the first cartoon to have come out of the climate change negotiations season to have been criticized. Last week, The New York Timespublished a cartoon that portrayed India as a jumbo stalling the train that is the climate change talks.
Last year, the NYT invited widespread condemnation when it published this cartoon about India's low-cost space program.
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