Prime Minister Modi is perhaps one of the very few national leaders who get more hatred from the media than they attract from opposition leaders. India’s mainstream media and a section of self-proclaimed ‘liberal intellectuals’ often attack the democratically elected, immensely popular Prime Minister of India with derogatory names, baseless allegations and most of the times, just raging, unadulterated, and raw hatred.
Another example of it was seen recently in a ‘cartoon’ printed in Mumbai Mirror. It cited PM Modi as the ‘Butcher from Godhra’.
Wow @MumbaiMirror calling democratically elected Prime Minister a butcher. Dear @writemeenal If it’s going to go like this then people won’t even wipe shit from your newspaper in few years. pic.twitter.com/3awTfJVXQ4
— Chowkidaar Smoking Skills (@SmokingSkills_) May 3, 2019
The derogatory cartoon made by one Ashish Asthana was published under ‘Journalist’ Aakar Patel’s column ‘Poll Dance’ yesterday. The cartoon appeared to project PM Modi as a hopeful monarch ‘AkiNaMo’ who intends to rule for te next 50 years, by depicting him as a Butcher by profession from Godhra.
It portrayed Rahul Gandhi as a trainee from Delhi who wants to ask his ‘ChrysantheMum’ first.
The idea behind the ‘AkiNaMo and ChrysantheMum’ terms is from the recent coronation of Japan’s new emperor Naruhito, where the former emperor Akihito had abdicated his throne for his son and heir. The imperial seat of Japan is known as the Chrysanthemum Throne.
However, the outrageous, tasteless and extremely derogatory depiction of the PM of India drew a lot of flak from social media and readers of Mumbai Mirror.
Mumbai Mirror 2nd May: “Narendra Modi, Butcher, Godhra” – Major violation of Model Code by the Newspaper. How can this nonsense be permitted in any civil society? This is not freedom of expression, but criminal and twisted attempt to defame the Hon. PM. Completely unacceptable. pic.twitter.com/WB02a368Pu
— Chowkidar Vishal (@VishalVSharma01) May 2, 2019
@vineetjaintimes Do you have any evidence to prove that Modi was involed in the Godhra Riots? Thanks .
Mumbai Mirror , May 03, 2019 pic.twitter.com/Rn3hikLooT
— चौकीदार Jiggs ?? (@Sootradhar) May 3, 2019
As per latest reports, Mumbai Mirror has retracted the cartoon from its e-paper and has apologised. An apology was shared in the e-paper version from the editor. It read, “In the column, Poll Dance, that takes a satirical look at elections, there was a cartoon that referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a derogatory fashion. This was uncalled for, in poor taste, and a clear oversight on our part editorially to let it go through. Our apologies for the same. This illustration has been taken off from both our online editions and the e-paper.”
Meenal Baghel is the current editor of Mumbai Mirror.
This is, however, not the first time Mumbai Mirror has published derogatory and distasteful remarks against a political leader. Last year, they had published a column by one ‘fashion blogger’ who had written extremely misogynistic, derogatory and distasteful remarks against Union minister Smriti Irani.
The so-called fashion blogger had not only attempted to compare the textile ministry, the ministry that controls over 2% of India’s GDP, 15% of total exports and over 45 million jobs as a “knitting room”, she had claimed that Smriti Irani had reached her position by “sucking up to the boss”. The article had even attempted to criticise Irani for her body weight and appearance.