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By Toutatis, here we go again

Defence for Children International insists that Asterix is not representative of a multicultural society.

india Updated: Jun 04, 2007 00:06 IST

A few days ago, we commented (unfavourably) on Polish vigilance authorities finding strains of homosexual content in Teletubbies, a TV series for toddlers. Quickly to join the camp of victims of such über-political correctness is Asterix, of Asterix and Obelix fame. Illustrator Albert Uderzo celebrated his 80th birthday in April by offering his creation to the Defence for Children International. He figured that the brave Gaul from the 6th century BC, Asterix, would be a great brand ambassador.

It turns out that the Defence for Children International doesn’t think so. Asterix, it insists, is not representative of a multicultural society. A hero “resisting invaders” was a “bad choice” to defend a France “aspiring to a happy and peaceful coexistence of all its diverse groups”. And to drive home the point: Asterix is “too French” to represent a UN charter on children’s rights.

Before anyone smells an anti-Sarkozy conspiracy, let’s look at what Asterix means to kids. Sure, he’s knocked hundreds of Romans out with his potion-fuelled strength. Sure, he’s sniggered at Brits drinking “hot water with a dash of milk” and pulled up his sleeves while encountering Germans. But do the kids see Asterix as someone who makes them recoil at the sight of a lady wearing a headscarf? Or make them believe that “hell is other people”? We don’t think so. In fact, we smell a plot hatched by a Belgian who desperately wants the UN job: Tintin.