With Black Lives Matter protests which started in the US after the murder of George Floyd now spreading across the world, Indian actresses like Trisha, Samantha Akkineni, Priyanka Chopra and Kareena Kapoor have voiced their support to these protests.
Meanwhile, Malavika Mohanan of Superstar Rajinikanth’s Petta and Vijay-starrer Master fame has penned down an open letter on how casual racism and colourism exists in our society.
“When I was 14 yrs old, one of my closest friends at that point told me that his mother never let him drink tea because she had this weird belief that drinking tea darkened ones’ skin complexion, and when he asked for tea once she told him (referring to me) ‘If you drink tea, you will become dark like her’,” she said.
“He was a fair Maharashtrian boy and I was a wheat-ish skinned malayalee girl. The complexion dissimilarity we had had never even occurred to me up until that point. This left me perplexed because it was the first time somebody had made a comment like that with a mean undertone about my skin colour.
So much casual racism and colourism exists in our own society. Calling a dark skinned person ‘kala’ is something we see on an everyday basis. The discriminatory behaviour against south-Indians and North-East Indians is also appalling.
Dark skinned Indians are jokingly referred to as ‘madrasis’ because for some strange reason these ignorant people think all South Indians are only dark skinned. North-East Indians are almost exclusively only called ‘chinki’, all black people are casually referred to as ‘negros’ and fair people are equated as beautiful and dark skinned people are equated as ugly.
While we speak about global racism, we must also become aware about what’s happening around us, in our homes, our friend circles and our society, and do our part in thwarting the obvious as well as the subtle racism and colourism that exists all around us, in our everyday lives,” she added.
“What makes you beautiful is being a good and kind person, and not the colour of your skin,” Malavika Mohanan concluded.