‘Time for a new cartoon’: Indians slam old NYT caricature as Chandrayaan-3 reaches Moon

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Wednesday achieved a stellar feat when their Chandrayaan-3 reached the South Pole of the Moon, a soft landing never attempted by any other country. Indians were jubilant in celebrating this achievement they did not forget a New York Times cartoon that came out six years ago.

The cartoon that was published following the success of Mangalyaan mission in 2014, returned to social media after years wherein Indians took a dig at the US-based news paper.

Notably, Mangalayan was a mission to put a robotic probe into the orbit around Mars was completed at just 450 crore, making it one of the cheapest interplanetary missions ever. Earlier, the US, Russia and Europe had sent missions to Mars.

The cartoon the was published by New York Times showed a man, dressed as an Indian villager with a cow, knocking on the door of “Elite Space Club” where two men in western clothes sat. The cartoon, which was made by Singapore-based artist Heng Kim Song, was carried with an article titled ‘India’s Budget Mission to Mars’.

See the cartoon here

Netizens were quick to remember the cartoon published years ago. The cartoon has sparked protests all over the country. Indian’s called NYT racist for mocking the space achievement of India.

According to a BBC, Andrew Rosenthal, editorial page editor of New York Times, had then said in a Facebook post that a “large number of readers” had complained about the cartoon.

“The intent of the cartoonist, Heng Kim Song, was to highlight how space exploration is no longer the exclusive domain of rich, Western countries. Heng, who is based in Singapore, uses images and text – often in a provocative way – to make observations about international affairs. We apologise to readers who were offended by the choice of images in this cartoon,” he had said.

Rosenthal had said Heng “was in no way trying to impugn India, its government or its citizens”.

Among the people who dug out the old cartoon and tagged and mocked NYT was Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) leader Y Sathish Reddy. “You You chuckled, questioning our capabilities. Today, we silence you with our triumph! Now, go ahead & sketch a fresh cartoon,” he posted on X, sharing the old cartoon.

“Thank you New York Times. Thank you for the racial jibe & the ridicule. Thank you for doubting our abilities. Thank you for laughing at us. Today we did not knock on the door. Today, we kicked the door down. Now, go and draw a new cartoon. Go…” wrote another X user.

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