A huge controversy on social media has erupted after it emerged that Argentina’s news channel Cronica TV demeaned Prime Minister Narendra Modi by comparing him with the famous fictional character of Indian ethnicity from the TV show The Simpsons. The news channel flashed the character of Apu as Modi’s plane touched down Buenos Aires, where he’s attending the G20 summit.
In one frame Air India plane carrying the Indian prime minister could be seen touching down the tarmac, while the other half of the TV window had Apu prominently displayed. The news flash said, “Llego Apu,” which in Spanish translates as “Apu arrives.”
If this was not enough, the channel then played the popular track Ring Ring Ringa from the Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire.
Argentine journalist Patrick Gillespie was the first one to spot the image insulting Indian prime minister. He wrote, “Argentine TV outlet @CronicaTV displays this racist image with the headline “Apu Arrived” as India Prime Minister @narendramodi arrives in Buenos Aires for the #G20.”
— Patrick Gillespie (@Pat_Gillespie) November 29, 2018
This was then picked up by comedian Hari Kondabolu, who wrote, “This couldn’t be true, right?”
This couldn’t be true, right? https://t.co/xiEzNgpXip
— Hari Kondabolu (@harikondabolu) November 30, 2018
The character Apu has been a topic of big controversy in the past after the makers of the series were accused of stereotyping Indians with their racist intention.
Modi is in Argentina to take part in G20 summit. On Friday he held talks with several leaders including Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman. He was also seen posing with Chinese President Xi Xinping and US President Donald Trump.
Here are some other reactions:
— Rajini Vaidyanathan (@BBCRajiniV) November 30, 2018
An Argentine news channel has come under fire for displaying an image of the Simpsons character Apu as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Buenos Aires.
Cronica TV used the headline “Apu arrives” as the Indian PM’s plane touched down for the G20 summit. pic.twitter.com/5YplP8jNia
— SirChuks (@occp1967) November 30, 2018
This is unacceptable. He is our PM and must be respected on international dais like other dignitaries…
— JaYanT BhusHaN® (@JayantBhushan1) November 30, 2018
To be fair enough, Cronica disrespect all by the same.
— Romina Herrera (@rominaherrera) November 30, 2018