The cartoon drew immediate criticism for being racist in content.
The common refrain from people on social media was that the western world was unable to find any fault with the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), and thus resorted to uncharitable tactics to take down India’s impressive foray into space.
The cartoon showed members of the Elite Space Club reading a newspaper with a headline about India’s Mars mission. They appear unhappy with the Indian man knocking at their door.
While attempting to be funny, the cartoon failed to register the importance of the Mars mission, which is being seen as a major development in India’s space programme.
The cartoon left a sour taste for many, particularly as it was published while Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in the U.S.
The cartoon appeared just days before India’s Mangalyaan sent back stunning photographs of the Red Planet that were shared by NASA.
India and US have signed a pact for sharing research data of the Mars mission, a testament to how the space community is treating Mangalyaan.
Several people on social media felt the caricature depicting an Indian with a turban and a cow had nothing to do with contemporary realities and that it failed to register the fact that no other country has managed to enter Martian orbit in its first attempt.