Melbourne: ‘Racist’ Aus cartoon shows Indians eating solar panels

Melbourne (PTI): A cartoon published in a leading Australian daily today depicted Indians as starving and eating solar panels, drawing rebuke with many condemning it as “racist”.


The cartoon appeared in the Rupert Murdoch-owned The Australian in response to the Paris climate conference.

The cartoon shows an emaciated Indian family breaking up solar panels and one person trying to eat them with ‘mango chutney’.

The climate deal was clinched with the approval of India, China and the US, after days of tough negotiations with the legally-binding pact seeking to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius and committing USD 100 billion a year from 2020 to help developing nations.

India had bargained hard on behalf of developing countries and demanded that developed countries take on more responsibility and provide financial support to developing nations so that they could make a switch to green technology.

India also mooted the International Solar Alliance initiative which was launched during the Paris conference. The cartoon sparked furore in the social media and academic circles with many slamming it as racist.

Amanda Wise, an associate professor of sociology at Macquarie University, said in her view the cartoon was shocking and would be unacceptable in the UK, the US or Canada.

“This cartoon is unequivocally racist and draws on very base stereotypes of third world, underdeveloped people who don’t know what to do with technology,” Wise told Guardian Australia.

“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,” she said.

The cartoon was widely condemned on Twitter, with many users drawing attention to India’s rapidly developing sustainable energy sector. Deakin University Professor Yin Paradies, whose research includes the economic effects of racism, also took the view 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 was quoted as saying. “Suggesting that ‘developing nations are stupid’ is racist given that such nations are invariably associated with specific racial groups (i.e. non-whites),” he said.


  1. Not surprised at all – If you are living in a white society and if you keep your eyes and ears open, the mild form of racism can be seen and felt everywhere. The sad thing is they don’t even realize that they are doing it!! Oh well…human nature is hard to change.

    Most of the Indians and other Asian groups shamelessly suck up to whites treating them like ‘masters’. You don’t have to go too far – take a look at our own Indians and see how they treat every ‘white’ person as if they are some kind of ‘authority’ on every subject!! It could be from journalism to Bollywood. The only exception to this rule is Arabs. They consider themselves to be superior to every other race!! This is because Arabs are even more racist than Whites!! They (Arabs) look at entire White race as sexual deviants with no moral values!!

    • Original R.Pai – “Most of the Indians and other Asian groups shamelessly suck up to whites treating them like ‘masters’….The only exception to this rule is Arabs. They consider themselves to be superior to every other race!!”


  2. We here in Australia regard “the Australian” as a very right wing newspaper and it’s views on most subjects are un-Australian. It is against any action on Climate change, against refugees and against any action to help the poor countries in the world. However, just like in India there are people who support views that will not bring peace and harmony in our world. Such is life!

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