The dark Indian obsession with White Skin.
A single tragic death of a Black Man, George Floyd, has left the whole world weeping in anguish and rage and like other countries India has remained no exception. Millions of Indians used social media to express their grief, including Celebrities.
Aahh well. People tend to joke.
Racism has been sold off by these very people for decades now. Either it's their sanctioned dreadful skin- whitening cosmetics or indirectly through their movies. It's fascinating, how people forget, that they themselves have been that very COP to the many other George Floyds of their own world or surroundings.
So, ask yourself, does this feeling against racism ever crossed your mind in front of them? The very Floyds of your life? Have you even considered their existence?
We Indians are referred to as “Brown People” around the world. But, many of Indians, especially the newer generations might take this as an insult.
I’ve had the privilege to meet different types of people from different parts of the country and from different social backgrounds—even the elites. And to my surprise, even the most educated and successful people suffer from the syndrome.
I don’t know how my skin has become lighter since I have grown up but as a child, I was dark-skinned. Aunties of the societies used to pass sympathetic comments towards me through my mom. “Ahh Nivedita, don’t let Abhishek play too much in the sun, he would become even darker. Too bad he has such a dark complexion.”
My initial reaction was of anger and secondly of shock. I was only ten. As a child, my only reply was through prank with a hope of it getting successful.
Well, I had forgotten about all this stuff until recently this protest and marches started happening, amid a pandemic which requires us to maintain social distance to render its effects. But boy, this is some Toxic stuff happening around the world and its only about to get worse.
The funniest thing that I noticed was the fact that some South Indian boys would give me a hard time because I was not exactly as their colour.
Yeah!! Let that sink in properly.
And yes, that just depressing in more than one way.
As if the dreadful skin-whitening products weren’t enough some people also started advising me to drink red wine once a day because of a myth that it magically turned me into a white sparkling boy. NO kidding
MAN, I was underage at that time, didn’t they know the rules.
This shit was real and this was horrific.
I was confused, was I supposed to hate my skin colour?
Was it necessary to be white rather than brown?
In the end, the only good that came out of this was the decision to stay away from those kinds of people. How else do you expect a kid to rebel?
Well, these kinds of things happen all the time, everywhere, with everyone at some point in time.
The million-dollar question still remains unanswered.
Who is behind this deep-rooted prejudice against dark skin?
Britishers. Yet another up-haar.
During Colonialism, Britishers needed something-anything- to justify their behaviour towards us. Dark skin made the perfect ploy and it was permanent.
This is how the brainwashing began. The artworks were designed to praise and compliment: the western skin and their sharp features.
Isn’t that smart? Isn’t it a neat plan?
An impossible desire.
Guess what? We’re still madly chasing those mere illusionary skins.
Before getting too patriotic, let me remind you all if Britishers treated us like an inferior race then, in return, we treated and still do treat the Africans as an inferior race. Not so cool now, right?
Are men immune to the colour bias in India?
It’s a fact that women were more likely to be a victim of Colourism in our diverging society. But times have changed. Today’s men and women are equally shamed because of their dark skin. These days men use and stock an equal number of skin-whitening products.
Jokes apart, neither gender is left unscathed from this predicament. If women have the illogical Fair & Lovely girl, the average Indian man has superstar Shahrukh Khan to single-handedly crush the confidence by endorsing the dreadfully insane racist ‘Fair& Handsome’. Ugh.
So, now that you’ve familiarized with the Floyds of the world, do you have an answer yet?
Where does it all stop?
I’m enraged because racism is so openly practiced in India. It’s just so shocking!
We Indian are very vocal about the unjust behaviour towards dark-skinned people since it’s no big deal. Just another day.
‘YOU’ the reason for their strength.
Every harmless joke you make on skin-colour is a racist act, every advertisement you glorify and silence endorses. It’s making those monsters invincible.
We have built a vicious colour-conscious world.
Every silence has its own cost.
Official Writer - Abhishek Jha