The great whirlwind sparked by a cartoon by the Swiss artist Patrick Chapat in a German magazine is still sparking interactions in India, where supporters of Narendra Modi’s regime have harshly criticized him, describing him as a racist Nazi.
In an article in the Swiss newspaper Le Temps, Shabat said that as soon as his drawing was published in the German magazine Der Spiegel, Indian officials rushed to criticize him and the German magazine, stigmatizing it as Nazi and racist.
The drawing shows two opposite trains at approximately the same distance, the first is a modern and fast Chinese “TGV” in which only the driver and his assistant appear, while the second is an Indian filled with passengers, some on the roof of the train and others on its sides, as well as those looking out of the windows. The cartoonist indicated that he aimed through the cartoon to show the great economic disparity between the two rival countries.
the real reason
According to the article, the German ambassador to India was forced to express his rejection of the caricature, stressing that it was “inappropriate and not funny,” while “Russia Today channel poured more oil on the fire and stated that the drawing once again confirms Western colonial hatred, and initiated an opinion poll.” Indian citizens on the matter.”
On the other hand – explains Patrick – Indian artists, including actress Eta Mehrotra, confirmed that the controversial drawing can be classified as promoting a “stereotype” about India, but at the same time it is a drawing that applies to the lived reality within the country.
The painter stated in his article that the real reason behind the weeks-long uproar against the cartoon is that it shows a reality that contradicts what Narendra Modi’s government has been trying to show for years, which is keen to show “glowing India”, while the reality is completely opposite to that in many aspects.
He said that during the uproar that erupted after the publication of the cartoon, the tragic train accident occurred near the town of Balasore in the eastern state of Odisha, killing about 300 people and wounding hundreds with injuries of varying severity.
Shabat stressed that the exaggerated reaction led by the Indian authority, led by Modi, against the caricature, reveals the extent of the “perversion” of the current prime minister’s authority, which has been in power since 2014.
He said that Modi does not like criticism and does not have a sense of humor, and he worked as soon as he came to power to take what contradicts the Indian “culture of tolerance” towards political cartoons, as some cartoonists are threatened with imprisonment because of their criticism of political conditions, and it has become very difficult to criticize Modi in the newspapers Hindi.
Resorting to social media platforms to publish political cartoons has become fraught with danger, as some cartoonists are being prosecuted for publishing cartoons critical of the government, in addition to electronic flies launching campaigns to close their accounts.
Cartoonists are accused of working against the interest of the country.
Shabbat warned that Narendra Modi is preparing for a new bill that will enable him to control information disseminated via the Internet and social media, describing that bill as a “freedom-killing project”.