SOURCE: JOYDEEP GHOSH/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
It has been over a year since the Russia and Ukraine war has been raging. Though Indian government has refused to take sides in the war, calling for its end but effectively it has been on Russia’s side being one of its biggest customers of cheap crude oil that is being refined and exported to Europe, becoming a bigger exporter that Saudi Arabia .
What’s more Europe happily and knowingly buys it, effectively showcasing its hypocrisy. Anyways Ukraine has been trying too hard ever since to get at India for giving tacit support to Russia. But India has always ignored Ukrainian blabbering’s over India’s support to Russia.
However, fact is not just Indian government but by and large most of the Indian public too has always stood beside Russia, as they never forget how Russia helped India when the West/Europe actually tried to give pains on various matters. Ukraine on various public forums and on one-to-one interactions has requested for Indian support against Russia, but India politely turned those requests down, even when Ukrainian ministers came to India and literally begged for help. Although many Indians have supported Ukraine against Russia. But 2 days back Ukraine did something callous, blasphemous, and shocking; after which it can safely be said that whatever support Ukraine had for itself in India, with this act it has PISSED OFF everyone in India, and the support is gone kaput and for good.
What actually happened is that Ukraine smarting at the loss of Crimea conducted a drone strike at an oil tanker facility at Sevastopol, the main Russian military base in Crimea on 28th or 29th of April, 2023. The drone strike caused a few of the oil tankers to go up in flames and create huge plumps of smoke that rose hundreds of feet in the air and could be seen from miles away. But what happened next was truly SHOCKING!!! In their excitement to celebrate the attack Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense tweeted a so-called meme from its official twitter account the huge cloud of smoke (top pic, left) and then compared it with the picture of Goddess Kali (top pic, right); but what shockedand left everyone in India angry is that Ukraine actually tried to imitate/paste an iconic pose of Hollywood actress Marilyn Monroe on that picture.
It was something Indians never expected Ukraine to do, as Goddess Kalibeing one of the most sacred, revered and worshipped goddesses of India is a symbol of power and strength. But to liken it with an iconic pose of a Hollywood actress was well and truly blasphemous. Immediately after the Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense tweeted the so-called meme, there was a huge hue and cry on social media especially Twitter from not just India but also abroad by people who revered Goddess Kali that Ukraine has crossed a sacred line and asked them to apologize and delete it. After much dilly-dallying Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense finally deleted the picture/meme but is yet to apologize.
No matter what the it does now, the damage has been done and it is well and truly permanent. Whatever little support Ukraine had for itself from Indians is now well and truly gone, and no amount of apology can help Ukraine win it back.
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