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‘Racist’ cartoon in Australian daily shows Indians eating solar panels

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source: independent.co.uk
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Sydney: A cartoon depicting Indians eating solar panels published in an Australian daily on Monday has attracted strong criticism owing to its “racist” overtone, a media report said.

The cartoon by Bill Leak was published in the Australian, depicting starving Indians chopping up and eating solar panels sent to the developing nation in an attempt to curb carbon emissions, the Independent reported.

“This cartoon is unequivocally racist and draws on very base stereotypes of the third world, underdeveloped people who don’t know what to do with technology,” the report quoted Amanda Wise, an associate professor of sociology at Macquarie University, as saying.

“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.”

“But actually it is people living in poverty that will suffer the most through food security, sea level rises, dropping of the water table.”

Editor Clive Mathieson of the Rupert Murdoch-run News Corp daily confirmed he edited Monday’s paper but declined to comment on the shocking cartoon.

“I don’t know too many places in the world where you would get away with that, to be honest. In Britain and the US, there would be an incredible outcry. It is appalling,” Wise said.

“This is really old imagery he has drawn on. Thin, starving people wearing turbans, who are so starving they are going to chop up solar panels. That is 1950s symbolism. We have moved on. The rest of the world has moved on,” she said.

“In Australia, people from India are the second largest migrant group and they are coming here on skilled visas.”

Leak’s cartoon was also widely condemned on Twitter.

“How backward is Aust #climate politics? Here, the absurd racist rubbish published by Murdoch’s national newspaper,” tweeted David Pope.

“Hey Bill Leak, some facts on India’s renewable energy sector. They’re a lot smarter than your cartoons are funny,” tweeted another user who goes by the name Mr Denmore.

Lisa Singh tweeted: “Incredibly disappointed by Bill Leak’s cartoon today. Shows complete ignorance of India and insults every Indian.”

Yin Paradies, a professor at Deakin University whose research includes the economic effects of racism, said the cartoon’s message was clearly racist.

“The message… is that India is too stupid to handle renewable energy and should stick to coal,” Paradies told the Guardian Australia.

“Suggesting that ‘developing nations are stupid’ is racist given that such nations are invariably associated with specific racial groups (i.e. non-whites).”

India took one of the hardest public lines at the climate change talks in Paris, and in the lead-up to them. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has publicly argued that it would be “morally wrong” to let rich countries off the hook for their historical emissions.

The country has also stood by its decision to use massive quantities of highly polluting coal to power growth over coming decades, all while increasing the proportion of renewable energy.

(Inputs from IANS)

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Actress Shilpa Shetty Kundra Faces an Unpleasant Experience of ‘Racism’ at Sydney Airport

Along with the note, Shilpa Shetty Kundra also posted a picture of her bag and asked her followers "whether it is oversized or not"

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Shilpa Shetty Kundra
Shilpa Shetty faces racism at Sydney airport. (Wikimedia commons)

Actress-entrepreneur Shilpa Shetty Kundra on Sunday alleged that she faced an unpleasant experience for being “brown” at the Sydney airport over her cabin luggage. Upset by an official who was curt, she says people’s tone must not change with preference to colour.

Shilpa Shetty Kundra, who dealt with racism in 2007 when she was a contestant on the fifth season of the British reality show “Celebrity Big Brother” — which she went on to win — faced the latest experience while boarding a plane for Melbourne from Sydney.

The 43-year-old took to Instagram to share the ordeal with a Qantas Airways lady staff member over a cabin luggage, which was deemed as ‘oversized’ at the check-in counter.

A furious Shilpa wrote: “At the check-in counter, met a grumpy Mel (that’s her name) who decided it was ‘okay’ to speak curtly to ‘us’ (brown people!) travelling together. I was flying business and had 2 bags (my allowance) and she insisted and decided my half empty duffel bag was oversized (to check-in), so she sent us to check it in at the other counter dealing with ‘oversized luggage’.

“There a polite lady (yes this one was) said, ‘This is not an oversized bag, please check this in manually if you can at another counter’ (all this happening while the counter is going to shut in five minutes).

Shilpa Shetty Kundra
Shilpa Shetty Kundra.

“As the manual check-in wasn’t going through for five minutes (we tried), I went upto Mel and requested her to put the bag through as her colleague said it wasn’t an oversized bag. She refused again… Just being adamant especially when I told her this is causing a lot of inconvenience.

“We had no time to waste so we ran to the oversized baggage counter and requested her to put the bag through which she did after I told her that rude Mel had issues! To which another colleague joined in and reiterated my duffle wasn’t oversized and could’ve easily been checked in.”

The “Dhadkan” actress said her intention to narrate her experience is to make Qantas Airways take cognisance of the matter.

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“Their staff must be taught to be helpful and tone can’t change with preference to colour. ‘We’ are not pushovers and they must know that being callous and rude will not be tolerated,” she added.

Along with the note, Shilpa Shetty Kundra also posted a picture of her bag and asked her followers “whether it is oversized or not”. (IANS)