The editor of the Indian newspaper that published the “racist” cartoon on Australia’s tepid response to continuing attacks on Indian students in that country, has responded to the criticism.
Bharat Bhushan, editor of Mail Today, the tabloid newspaper run by the India Today group, says in today’s issue that he hoped the angry reaction would help reduce crimes against minorities in Australia.
“A cartoonist uses humour to draw a caricature of a real life situation to hammer home a point of view. The cartoon has to be seen in that spirit. If the cartoon forces Australians, including the Melbourne Police, to introspect, then the cartoon’s purpose will have been served.”
The cartoonist R. Prasad, too has explained the use of Ku Klux Klan imagery in the offending artwork.
“The cloak of the Ku Klux Klan is a globally known and recognised cultural signifier that represents racism. It also symbolises violence in the name of race or colour.”
To its credit, Mail Today has also published a column headline “Media raising a scare will do more harm than good” along with a collage of criticism from Australian readers to the cartoon.
Some of the responses:
# “Shame on your paper for publishing such an image.”
# “I wish to voice my disappointment at the insensitivity displayed by your organisation in publishing the cartoon.”
# “Journalism is meant to be ethical, unbiased, and based on facts. Your newspaper is in violation of these principles.”
# “I am disgusted that you allowed such a cartoon to be published.”
Newspaper facsimile: courtesy Mail Today