A bold “divine” project

about 11 months ago
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Majority of Indians are racists.

That sounds harsh, doesn’t it? But that’s the truth. And that explains our obsession for everything which is fair skinned or white.

The fact that we are the biggest market in the world for fairness creams, points to this very truth. Fairness and being unfair to all those who do not look “Indian” like those from North East; can we ever hold up our head and say that we are free from biases?

And in this context, we saw a very thought provoking campaign undertaken by ad filmmaker Bharadwaj Sundar. He has teamed up with photographer Naresh Nil and the two have come up with "Dark is Divine" - a project that portrays gods and goddesses with a darker skin colour.

Seriously, think about it. Every picture of God and Goddess that adorns our Pooja place is that of a fair skin. How disconcerting this would be for someone who is dark skinned or dusky? So right from there, the starting point of humanity, we have established that all that is superior is fair skinned?

Think about it. Krishna, who is described as a dark-skinned god in the scriptures, is often shown as fair. And so is the elephant-headed Ganesha, even though there are no white elephants in India. Only Goddess Kali is shown as dark-skinned.  

In today’s time, where respect for women is diminishing as gender equality rises, it is important to understand that appearance does plays a major role in how we perceive people, especially women. And the Dark is Divine project is challenging the belief that fair skin is superior.

Yes, the ultimate victory for such a project would be if someone printed one of the photos and perhaps added it to their place of worship in their home and prayed to that God. Likely?

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