A political cartoon produced by India Today that depicts Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a shooting spree slaughtering civilian characters representing Chinese apps has drawn the ire of Chinese netizens, who slammed the Indian media for instigating terrorism and dangerously promoting extreme national sentiment against China.
The video, which is widely circulating on Chinese social media, led to widespread condemnation and ridicule, with many Chinese netizens posting comments such as: “Modi slaughtering unarmed people, is the Indian media trying to advocate terrorism?” and “India is coerced by nationalism, what a pity.”
In the two-minute video, Modi parachutes from a plane and lands in a Chinese-style camp, then kills unarmed people representing Chinese apps, such as WeChat and TikTok, with two guns. After a big fight with his opponent PUBG, the Modi avatar wins and defiantly deletes the app from his phone.
The video is named “The Apps Hunter” and was uploaded online by India Today on September 8.
“The image of Modi is well portrayed in the video. Using the state machinery to crack down on private enterprises shows the true colors of the Bharatiya Janata Party in mobilizing populism. It caters to the taste of the public but also damages the interests of the public,” Xie Chao, an assistant professor of Indian studies at Tsinghua University, told the Global Times on Monday.
In early September, India said it would ban another 118 Chinese apps, claiming that they were “prejudicial” to the country’s sovereignty, integrity and defense. New Delhi has already banned 59 Chinese apps including the popular TikTok and WeChat.
The crackdown on Chinese apps reduces working opportunities for Indian people, and while it seems like safeguarding India’s interests, the move actually sabotages its image, bringing political risks to businessmen and strangling its own opportunities in the services and manufacturing markets, Xie said.
Many Chinese netizens expressed surprise that this sort of short-sighted video was being produced by an Indian media organization.
It is shocking to see the prime minister of a country is portrayed as a hero in killing innocent app operators from a neighboring country. It is the product of misguided and extreme nationalism, some observers said.
“An armed Modi killing unarmed people. Why are Indian media depicting their prime minister like a terrorist?” some netizens commented on Sina Weibo. “India Today advocating such a violent and bloody video is publicity for terrorism,” some other netizens posted.