Strangely, readers don’t spot the dollar sign

10 November 2010

The interpretation of news and views by readers is a pretty straightforward affair. But how do they “read” images?

Above is the cartoon that The Hindu‘s Keshav drew at the end of US president Barack Obama‘s three-day visit to India on Tuesday, 9 November.

Below, are a set of three responses to it, published by the paper today in the letter to the editor column.

# This refers to “Cartoonscape” (Nov. 9). Obama did not bend his back, as depicted. In fact, “the President came to India with an economic agenda, and he pretty much got what he wanted”. —Venkatesh S.P., Hyderabad

# The cartoon brilliantly sums up the performance of Obama in India. Words have been delivered and lustily cheered by our parliamentarians. Now let us wait for the deeds.—A.P. Govindankutty, Cheruthuruthy

# The cartoon depicting prime minister Manmohan Singh as the caddie of Obama is realistic. How long are we going to play second fiddle to the U.S.? We have a history of our own and matters to be proud of. We are under the illusion that we will benefit from U.S. jobs and better pay. It is the other way round. Ours is cheap labour but, at the same time, we are honest and hard working. If parts of the world are in conflict, it is perhaps because of the opportunistic foreign policies of different U.S. governments at different times. Hospitality is our hallmark, but let it not be at the cost of our pride.—T. Anand Raj, Chennai

While his support for India’s bid for a seat on the UN security council and his naming Pakistan as a haven for terrorists was music to Indian ears, for Obama, the key highlight of the trip was the signing of deals worth $10billion that would stitch up over 50,000 jobs back home.

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