A tweet from one of the great actors, Nawazuddin Siddiqui pointing out at Bollywood’s discriminatory underbelly is instantaneously enlightening and mystifying. The 43-year-old actor published a tweet without mentioning anyone specifically, read:
“Thank you for making me realise that I cannot be paired with the fair and handsome because I am dark and not good looking, but I never focus on that.”
This tweet is possibly a reaction to what Sanjay Chauhan, the casting director for the artist’s film Babumoshai Bandookbaaz, communicated Deccan Chronicle this week:
“We can’t cast fair and handsome people with Nawaz. It would look so weird. You have to take people with distinct features and personalities when pairing them with him.”
Here is Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s Tweet:
Speaking to NDTV, Nawazuddin Siddiqui said racism is widespread far and wide, saying his acting determinations were giggled at in his village because of his looks. He denied to say if his tweet was an answer to Sanjay Chauhan’s statement.
The film industry’s inclination for ‘fair and lovely’ has been vigorously questioned in the recent past. Months ago, Abhay Deol shared a series of posts on Facebook mentioning equals like Shah Rukh Khan, Shahid Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor and Deepika Padukone for performing in commercials for fairness creams.
Moreover, actress Tannishtha Chatterjee also wrote about departing a comedy show she was appearing on as a guest halfway after impolite jokes were made about her skin tone. He also grilled if these brands are displaying ‘same racism across the world that they are clearly showing here in India?’ Rather, in one of the posts, the actor taunted at BJP politician Tarun Vijay, who received criticism on social media for his prejudiced remark against the south Indians.
He also talks about Nandita Das taking a crack at Tarun Vijay. He wrote,
“Silly Nandita trying to teach us that Black is also beautiful. Doesn’t she know that we already know that? Why else would we be so accepting of people from the south? What’s that? She’s from Orissa? Can we include that in the southern belt of states? Cause I really want to believe in my bullshit.”
in mention to a statement made by a politician on TV
“All the articles about me begin with ‘the dark and dusky actress’ because being dark is considered such an aberration”, says Indian actress Nandita Das. Das clarifies that her parents raised her numerous talents without ever talking about her skin tone. She remained away from the fascination with fairness that plagues many Indian women.
Though, when she became a climbing star in her country’s film industry, she quickly recognized that due to her shady skin she was likely to play lower caste roles or asked to “lighten her skin slightly” so that she could act in an upper class role.
Today in India, colonialist prejudice still reinforces that the ideas of beauty and whiteness are related to wealth and better opportunities.
So, the question is till when we would be living with this prejudice and racism in an independent country like India?