Culture

Fairness Syndrome – fair is Good & dark is Bad

When Yami Gautam tells that you can have a fair & glowing skin using fair & lovely in a week; it’s not her claim which should be a concern. The concern is the way she tells that how important it is to look fair for having a successful career or to find a good guy for marriage. This is not limited to only girls, for Boys also the situation is quite similar. The question here is – How much importance our society gives to skin color? How dark skin of a person affects him in the social sphere?

Situation is Quite Grave

If we look at the matrimonial advertisement in newspapers or on a matrimonial site than on average nine out of ten profiles will have mention of fair color, either in expectations or possessing. Hardly, we have any successful Bollywood personality with dark skin color. There are specific android apps to make photographs look fairer and even ones which shoot photographs many shades lighter than reality. As if they don’t want to show us the reality. None of our Gods are portrayed in dark complexion in paintings or shown on TV, even Kali  & Krishna who have dark complexion is shown with blue tone and not black.

All this shows presence of fairness syndrome inside us. Fairness Industry is thriving at around 18% growth rate. The industry turnover is around 3000 crore and is expected to go further high. We don’t stop using fairness creams & other related products in spite of being aware of their side effects.

Why are we so obsessed with skin color?

Ancient Indian Gods & goddesses used to have complements of each other. They used to have color combinations of black and white. Black & white colors are repeatedly used to resemble two paths in puranic stories. White is nivritti marga that of vairagya withdrawing from society, whereas black is pravritti marga, of grihstha life, engaging with society. If we go by science, then also white & black are a complement to each other – black is said to absorb light where as white reflects it.

When in history, white became the symbol of good & Black the symbol of bad is disputed. When we started painting Krishna as blue rather than black, we don’t know. But it is sure that it was long before the intrusion and ruling of fair skinned invaders in India, the reason many sites for color discrimination in India. Though, during the British rule, this color discrimination got more strength.

There is a word “Asuryasparsh” in Sanskrit which means that a girl who’s never touched by the sun, meaning her skin is very light. The presumption is that rich or upper caste people don’t step out of the house or work in fields, whereas dark complexion relates to hard work. It is common for many of agrarian societies. Therefore, skin color is an indication of class. Our caste system further endorses this color discrimination. It is this reason that mentioning of skin color is very predominant in Upper-class Hindu’s specifically Brahmins & Kshatriya.

Color Discrimination is Not a Sign of Progression

As mentioned above, our holy text doesn’t discriminate skin color. They just symbolize different things. There has been some misinterpretation for quite a long time. But, today we know that skin color is just a genetic order. It has nothing to do with class or caste or deeds of a person and it never was.

Color discrimination doesn’t just show our backwardness, more of that it is a hate crime against a person. It denies the right of an individual to live with dignity. It divides the society in to good & bad on a wrong rationale is and shouldn’t be the criteria to judge a person.

To remove color discrimination we first need to understand that colors are just colors. They don’t symbolize good or bad. Till the time we consider Black Cat, black color as a Bad Omen we will not be able to remove color discrimination from our society.

Black is as beautiful as white. If black Suite/Sari can be beautiful, a dark skin person can also be beautiful and he/she is beautiful for the ones who love him/her. We don’t have any right to dislike a person without any reason. Yes, Color of skin is no reason.

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