Media battle through cartoons


On Sept. 23, India successfully launched its first Mars mission. Shortly after, The New York Times ran a political cartoon mocking the country that can be construed as racist.

The caricature depicts an Indian man, leading a cow, into a building marked “Elite Space Club,” which is full of white men in suits.

The Times soon experienced relentless backlash, to which they took to Facebook to publicly apologize.

The best part of this story is how the Indian media handled this offense.

They did not come back with a retort right away, no. They waited for the perfect opportunity to passive aggressively mock the U.S. back, which conveniently came in the form of a failed space mission.

On Oct. 28, an unmanned rocket – resulting in no injuries or deaths – exploded during liftoff. This proved perfect ammunition for the Indian media comeback.

Following the accident, the Hindustan Times ran a cartoon depicting an Indian couple observing the explosion, exclaiming, “It’s not rocket science for us!” The explosion took place in the “Elite Space Club.”

This little correspondence between two country’s newspapers is entertaining, and something most readers would never pick up on. I commend the Hindustan Times for approaching the situation in more of a light-hearted manner than most media outlets would take. They accepted the offense and acknowledged it in humor, all while creating an interesting story to look at from a media perspective.

You can take a look at both of the cartoons here:

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