Black Diamond

“Hum kaale hai toh kya hua Dilwale hai”
Translation – Doesn’t matter if I am dark. I still have a heart

We all love colors. but to make a judgement based on the color that you were born with is nothing short of hypocrisy. Does skin color change the fact that you are a human? It is nothing short of cruelty to make someone feel inferior and unworthy based on skin tone. India is booming with this kind of peddling of ideas where only a fair person is truly considered as beautiful, worthy of getting a good prospect in marriage and having a better job. Anyone with dark skin is made to try on numerous beauty products and ayurvedic medications so that the sun shines brighter on their part. While our foreigner fellow human are trying various artificial tanning products and willing to risk skin cancer to get the bronzed dusky looks, we Indians have grown so accustomed to the colonial rule in the past that we still demand to be associated with anything firangi (foreigners). This stigma attached to dark skin extends further to the era of estalblishment of the caste system where the fair brahmin were a symbol for purity and the dark skinned shudras were considered as impure and untouchable.

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Clearly, All is fair in Love and war.

Our bollywood stars have encouraged this regressive mindset of the people by working for endorsements broadcasting untrue messages of inferiority complex amongst nationwide of people just so as to gain endorsement money that they really don’t require. The new poster girl of the “Dark is Beautiful” campaign, Nandita Das, has called out India’s obsession with fair skin — a prejudice she says has driven some young women to the brink of suicide. According to the market research of Euromonitor International, India’s whitening cream market swelled from $397 million in 2008 to $638 million over four years.

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Our Youngistaan is the biggest asset to our country and a aware youth can bring wonders. Already a step in the positive direction has been taken up by the Advertising Standard Council of India (ASCI)

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According to the ASCI, there were already guidelines in place that forbade ads discriminating on the basis of colour. “Yet given how widespread the advertising for fairness and skin lightening products is and the concerns of different stakeholders in society, ASCI therefore felt a need to frame specific guidelines for this product category.” The Fact that these guidelines have been mandatory has been a welcoming change. But the brands may have been accepted the rules and modified their statement to skin-lightening tools, but they seem pretty unfazed otherwise mainly because they knowthe extend to which the mindset are entrenched in the past of white.

Dark is beautiful. White is beautiful. Brown is beautiful. Color doesnt change the person. When all festivals can be celebrated in diversity in our country, then all colors of skin tone should be equally embraced.

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