Just last month, a violent mob in Noida attacked four African nationals as it was alleged that a Class XII boy who had died of a drug overdose was last spotted with a group of Nigerians. Were these African nationals the same whom the boy was spotted with? Nope. It was an absolutely unprovoked attack stemming from nothing but deep-rooted racism. Adding to how ridiculous the situation had become, BJP leader Tarun Vijay recently said Indians are not racist because “we live with South Indians also”. This statement too comes from a deep sense of othering people who simply just don’t have the skin colour or look like many other Indians. Beauty in diversity? Not in India, really.
Our country is so obsessed with fairness that we hunt for fair brides and grooms in our matrimonials and equate fairness of skin with real beauty. Let’s also not forget – we’ve also had fairness ads where someone has been shown as more successful or deserving because of their skin colour. The fairness beauty industry is big in India and thrives on our very own film stars – from Shahrukh Khan to John Abraham, Yami Gautam and more.
In a series of thought-provoking and hard-hitting Facebook posts, actor Abhay Deol called out members of his own fraternity one by one for endorsing fairness creams. Deol writes about how these notions of promoting fairness as more superior are nothing but demeaning and false, and urges us to really break out of these notions once and for all. And in all fairness, that’s really what we should be doing!