The cartoon was drawn by cartoonist Bill Leak for The Australian, and immediately faced backlash on social media

Racist International outrage over Australian cartoon showing Indians eating solar panelsThe cartoon by Bill Leak for The Australian
Flix Monday, December 14, 2015 - 13:46

A cartoon in an Australian paper that shows starving Indians trying to eat solar panels has received widespread criticism and been termed 'racist'.

The cartoon comes in the backdrop of the climate deal signed in Paris where India, which is the fourth largest emitter of greenhouse gases, has also promised to curb carbon emissions.

Read: Paris Climate Deal: Neither The Polar Bear Nor The Poor Are Served

The cartoon was drawn by cartoonist Bill Leak for The Australian, and immediately faced backlash on social media. People also took shots at him, claiming that a serious accident that he had after falling from a balcony a few years ago, has made him 'racist' ever since.

Speaking to The Guardian, Amanda Wise, an associate professor of sociology at Macquarie University said “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. 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."

“This only demonstrates the … provincial ignorance of both the journalist, cartoonist and publication...In truth, the bewildered farmers in Leak’s cartoon could probably teach him a thing or two about solar panels, while treating him to the indisputable pleasures of mango chutney,” Shoma Chaudhury, editor of Catch News told The Guardian.

A similiar incident had occured last year when The New York Times (NYT) published a racist cartoon showing India with a cow and knocking on the “Elite Space Club” soon after the country's successful mission to Mars. Indians, made sure that the publication got to see their wrath, with a steady influx of comments on social expressing their displeasure at the cartoon, and hordes of comments demanding an apology. 

Here are some of the reactions that came in from Twitter on Bill Leak's cartoon.


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