Bangalore: Since the attack on Indian students in Australia, there have been huge uproar from Indians and Australia has been accused of being a racist country. Is it really fair to accuse Australia for few attacks on Indian students when few Indians have not been treating many foreigners properly? Ask any African living in India and each will tell you at least one instance when they felt the brunt of racism.
Recently Outlook magazine's cover story analyzed in detail how Africans have been racially abused by Indians who have a mindset of giving preference to fair color. Africans are usually called with names like 'Kalia' or 'habshi'. Even advertisement industry, especially fairness cream company, portrays the picture that black color is ugly and fair is beautiful. For instance, a controversial ad for Fair & Lovely cream features an unhappy father because his daughter is dark and unsuccessful. The cream changes her complexion and lands her a glamorous job as an airhostess.
People from South India have got used of being called 'Madrasi' by North Indians. Even though there have been efforts taken by Tamil Film industry to change this perception of people they have not been that successful. Rajnikant, famous actor from south is dark but actress starring with him is always fair in color. Even Hindu mythology tries to teach us that one should not be biased due to color. Lord Krishna was nicknamed as shyam for his dark complexion. Shyam literally means dark. But people have even tried to change that. Comics and TV serials routinely depict evil (the demons) as dark and good (the gods) as fair. "Why is Krishna always portrayed in blue rather than in natural black? It just reinforces our prejudices," said Mumbai-based mythology expert Devdutt Pattanaik to Outlook.
Many sociologists believe that Indians might prefer white skin due to 150 years of Colonial rule by British. Due to this deep inside there might be feeling that ruler is always white. "It became a marker of people trying to be like the white (the one who dominated)," said sociologist Ashish Nandy to Outlook. If India has to improve its image as a global hotspot of business and tourism then this craze of fair skin has to be eliminated.