An illustration made by Chinese artist ‘Bantonglaoatang’ and published on social media website Weibo has become controversial for all the wrong reasons. The illustration was promoted by The Global Times, a mouthpiece of the Chinese communist party, and depicted the member nations of G7 as different animals.
The cartoon (called The Last G7) is a parody of Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous painting – The Last Supper. It criticizes nine countries – the US, the UK, Italy, Canada, Japan, Germany, France, Australia and India. The US has been shown as a bald eagle, the UK has been portrayed as a lion, Japan has been depicted as a shiba inu dog and India has been portrayed as an elephant. Above these animals, a quote reading ‘through this we can still rule the world’ has been written.
Why India should be enraged
In its description of the painting, The Global Times wrote, “On the right corner of the table sits an elephant (representing India) that is on a drip like a patient.” In the picture, you can also see an oxygen cylinder attached to the elephant.
This is an objectionable statement because the whole coronavirus crisis took place across the world because of China. For them to make a comment about India’s crumbling healthcare system is uncalled for and totally unnecessary.
The whole point of depicting India as a sick elephant is to highlight India’s inadequacy and slowness. That’s not all. If you look closely, you can see a picture of a cow attached to the saline drip administered to the elephant. This is enraging since we all know that cow is considered sacred by the majority Hindu population in the country.
India has already taken strict action against China by banning some of their marquee apps like PUBG and TikTok.
Why China deserves criticism
China has not been co-operating with the WHO which is trying to conduct more research into the origins of coronavirus. They have also been facing criticism regarding their treatment of Muslims in the Xinjiang region.
At the end of the previous G7 summit, US President Joe Biden said, “I think China has to start to act more responsibly in terms of international norms on human rights and transparency. Transparency matters across the board. We haven’t had access to the laboratories to determine whether or not – and I have not reached a conclusion, because our intelligence community is not certain yet – whether or not this was a consequence of a marketplace, a bat interfacing with animals (he meant humans) ... or whether it was an experiment gone awry in a laboratory. It’s important to know that.”
In response, the Chinese embassy in London said, “We urge the United States and other members of the G7 to respect the facts, understand the situation, stop slandering China, stop interfering in China's internal affairs, and stop harming China's interests.”
Indeed, the coronavirus pandemic has rendered the resources of several countries depleted, several families have lost a loved one and numerous young professionals have lost their livelihood. China’s reluctance to own up to its mistakes is appalling. It’s high time that some serious action (including a hefty fine) gets taken against them for the wreckage they’ve caused.
Photo courtesy: Reddit user DrMrJekyll