On March 27, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appeared on television just past noon to announce that India has demonstrated anti-satellite missile capability. India, he said, can now destroy satellites in space. The programme has been dubbed Mission Shakti.

Since only three other countries have previously demonstrated such capability, the achievement was celebrated by many Indians. But Modi drew criticism for his decision to make the announcement himself in the midst of the election campaign, violating the poll code of conduct in spirit, if not in letter. The Model Code of Conduct is aimed at ensuring that the ruling party does not take undue advantage of government machinery during the election campaign.

Modi was also criticised for seeming to appear to take the credit for work that had actually been done by the Defence Research and Development Organisation.

The morning after, India’s newspapers bore evidence of how Modi’s announcement had inspired India’s cartoonists.

In The Times of India, Sandeep Adhwaryu suggested that Mission Shakti was meant to deflect attention from the growing unemployment in the country.

Many cartoonists echoed the voices of those who thought that Modi was stealing the credit that rightly belongs to the scientists of the Defence Research and Development Organisation.