UT San Diego, 6 Oct 2014
The New York Times apologized for an editorial cartoon in its international edition that critics said mocked India's Mars Mission by showing a man in a traditional dhoti and turban, leading a cow on a leash and knocking on the door of the "Elite Space Club" while inside two bespectacled men in bow ties look perplexed by the sound.
The cartoon was published online Sept. 28 after India's Mangalyaan probe began orbiting Mars at a cost of $74 million (4.5 billion rupees) which BBC News reported was "one of the cheapest interplanetary space missions ever."
Late Sunday, Andrew Rosenthal, editorial page editor for The New York Times, apologized via Facebook.
"A large number of readers have complained about a recent editorial cartoon in The International New York Times, about India's foray into space exploration. The intent of the cartoonist, Heng Kim Song, was to highlight how space exploration is no longer the exclusive domain of rich, Western countries. Mr. Heng, who is based in Singapore, uses images and text - often in a provocative way - to make observations about international affairs. We apologize to readers who were offended by the choice of images in this cartoon. Mr. Heng was in no way trying to impugn India, its government or its citizens. We appreciate that readers have shared their feedback, which we welcome." Full story