The German news magazine, Der Spiegel, has come under criticism from Indians for publishing what has been described as a racist cartoon. The picture depicts a shabby and overcrowded Indian train overtaking a modern and spacious Chinese train on a parallel track. The image has been interpreted as mocking India as it overtakes China to become the world’s most populous nation.
Der Spiegel Cartoon Ignores India’s Progress
The cartoon has sparked outrage amongst many Indians who have taken to social media to voice their displeasure. They have accused the magazine of having an outdated view of India and not acknowledging the progress the country has made in recent decades.
Even the government officials lashed out at Der Spiegel for showing India as a backward and poorly developed nation. Federal minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar tweeted a warning to the magazine’s cartoonist, saying that it was not smart to bet against India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The magazine has yet to respond to the criticism.
Does This German Magazine Love to Mock India?
Although overcrowded trains are still prevalent in many parts of India, significant investment has been made to improve the country’s railway network and its trains. This has not been acknowledged in the cartoon, which many believe is insensitive and offensive.
This is not the first time that cartoons published by Western media have caused offense in India. In 2014, The New York Times newspaper apologized for a cartoon that mocked India’s Mars Mission. The cartoon showed a farmer with a cow knocking at the door of a room marked Elite Space Club, where two men sat reading a newspaper, after India successfully put the Mangalyaan robotic probe into orbit around Mars.
India’s Population Will Surpass China in 2023
According to the United Nations’ Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), India is set to become the most populous country in the world. The new data indicates that India’s population will surpass China’s and reach 1,425,775,850 people by the end of April 2023. The following graphical representation illuminates the competition between population billionaires.
The cartoon by Der Spiegel comes after a UN report predicted last week that India would overtake China by the middle of this year. For over 70 years, the two Asian nations have accounted for more than a third of the global population. However, DESA acknowledged that due to the uncertainty surrounding population projections, the specific date on which India will overtake China is approximate and subject to revision.
The UN Population Fund also released a report last week, predicting that India would have 2.9 million more people than China by the middle of 2023. This follows a decline in China’s birth rate, with its population shrinking for the first time since 1961.
DESA predicts that China’s population could drop below 1 billion by the end of the century. In contrast, India’s population is expected to continue growing for several decades, though fertility rates are declining. In 1950, India had a fertility rate of 5.7 births per woman, but today, that rate has dropped to 2.2 births per woman.
It’s worth noting that global population growth is slowing down, and as of November 2021, the global population has exceeded 8 billion.