Actor Tannishtha Chatterjee body shamed and mocked for her skin colour in the name of humour. India’s ugly obsession with fair skin refuses to go away.
“In a country where we still sell fair & lovely/handsome and show adverts, where people don’t get jobs because of their complexion, where every matrimonial advert demands a fair bride or groom and the color bias is so strong, in a society which has a deep-seated problem with dark skin, which also has deep roots in our caste system , in a country where dark skin is marginalized, making fun of it is not roast.”
Did these words of Actor Tannishtha Chatterjee shock you to the core or hit a chord? The actor’s recently released movie ‘Parched‘ has received international recognition for highlighting the evils that plague the Indian society such as dowry, physical violence, forced marriages, prostitution, marital rape, and abuse against women. And this is not the first time that the actor’s talent has been recognised and acclaimed worldwide.
Films like Gulaab Gang, Unindian, and Angry Indian Goddesses and a host of other foreign films are in her kitty that have earned her the respect she deserves. Yet when last week the actor went on a popular comedy show on the Colors channel – Comedy Nights Bachao to promote her film, little did she know that in the name of humour and ‘roast’ she would be ridiculed, mocked and shamed for her dark complexion. Jibes such as ‘kaali kalooti’, ‘aap ko jamun bahut pasand hoga zaroor… kitna jamun khaya aapne bachpan se?’ were thrown at her throughout the show in the name of comedy.
Being at the receiving end of such deep rooted prejudice of Indians is not new for the actor. In her Facebook post, she deals with the past experiences she had when people mocked her for being ‘dark’. She says, “Your surname is Chatterjee? Oh you are Brahmin.. What is your mothers surname? Maitra! Oh…. She is Brahmin too…And then indirectly he hinted how is my skin tone still dark… ?” It is deeply disconcerting to see that in a country where the majority of the population is naturally dark, the ‘white skin hangover‘ of Indians doesn’t seem to go away.
On the one hand Indians rave about how foreigners find the Indian skin tone so exotic and spend a fortune to get it, yet closer to home, we look down upon someone who has a dark skin tone.
She has written a detailed note about her experiences on the show on her Facebook post. Read it here:
Image: You Tube