In a nation obsessed with everything fair and white, fairness cream makers are minting millions, not so fair girls/women are being wretched and racist comments are persistent; and we are heading in the direction of women empowerment like never before.. Really?
From Fairness Skin creams advertisements, to matrimonial ads, we find fairness as a superiority criteria in India to the extent that the not so fair or dark skinned women feel inferior, depressed and dejected on a day to day basis.
In every common Indian household, parents are worried if their girls are not fairer. Statements like ‘Chai peene se kaale ho jate hain‘ since childhood make you believe that ‘kala hona‘ is some quality deterioration. Mothers only want a fair ‘Bahu’ for their sons and God forbids, if their own daughters are not so fair, they will be instructed to apply all sorts of beauty & fairness creams.
Recently bollywood film Parched has released and one of the actresses, Tannishtha Chatterjee faced such brutal racist remarks on a national TV show.
Tannishtha Chatterjee, known for appearing in films like Gulaab Gang, Unindian, and Angry Indian Goddesses besides a host of other world cinema titles, was present at the show, Comedy Nights Bachao Taaza to promote her next film, Parched. The actress was referred to as ‘kaalikalooti‘ and the hosts felt nothing wrong or inappropriate in asking her if she has been eating jamun(blackberries) since childhood as a result of which she has a dark skin.
Talking to Mumbai Mirror, Tannishtha said, “I had been led to believe that it was going to be a ‘Roast’. In the West they cheer your achievements by making fun of them and I was excited about being ‘roasted’ on a comedy show on a leading national channel.”
Tannishtha has also written an open letter and you need to read it here –
Though Colors TV has issued apology for the insensitive remarks after Tannishtha’s open letter, yet it doesn’t end the unfairness!
Quite some time back, film star Nandita Das had taken a stance against the craze and given her support to the Dark is Beautiful campaign which challenged the belief that success and beauty are determined by skin colour. “I want people to be comfortable in their own skin and realize that there is more to life than skin colour,” she said.
Shekhar Kapoor also quoted once –