In India, the obsession for “White” skin tone is real. People drooling over a ‘fair’ skin tone is visible in the matrimonial ads. Not only this, but the use and popularity of whitening creams have been there in India since years, yet no one took cognizance of such products that advocate colour bias. Following the anti-race protests, many brands decided to change the names of their products. But that alone is not going to solve the problem. Kavitha Emmanuel, the woman behind ‘Dark is Beautiful’ Campaign told The Week that “changing names is not going to be enough to undo the damage, done in the past 45 years”. She further proposes for the discontinuation of such products so that more and more women, irrespective of colour, can get empowered.
Similarly, there are several such instances where discrimination against people based on colour, race and ethnicity has been seen. Racism does exist in India, however, we Indians never thought of it as a serious issue.
States due to the geographical conditions of the country have their own different privileges in accessing the rest of the country and interactions that are based on the same fact, that not all the states in India have the advantage and the privilege of easy communication and interaction with the rest of the world as in the case of the North Eastern states which are connected to India with a corridor that is only 27 kilometers wide and as they’re not close to the Centre, the states have never really enjoyed equal representation like the rest of the states in the country.
Racist ideology in the Indian society although never recognized by the governments or the academic groups has been experienced on a day to day basis by the people of the north-east in mainland India. Unfortunate events like the deaths of Richard Loitam in Bangalore and Dana Sangma in Gurgaon in 2012 April, the stacking of experiences, events and the abundance of strong informal communication mediums have accelerated protests for justice against racism and racism itself. These expressions must be empowered, recognized at grassroots and sustained by the help of scholarly attention.
The case of Reingamphi, a young woman from a family of rice cultivators in Manipur, who was suspected to have been raped and brutally murdered at her rented accommodation in Chirag Delhi in 2013 or Mary Ezung from Nagaland, who was found dead in Delhi’s Safdarjung Enclave are merely two examples. These cases are dismissed as individual cases ignoring the overarching elements of racism and misogyny which perpetuates violence in ways that are targeted specifically against women from the North-East India.
Racism does exist in this country right from the individual level. It’s time we take a long, hard look at the way we treat the marginalised groups and pay attention to their unique struggles. Our feminism needs to provide a platform to all groups who have been historically denied a voice. The time has come for the privileged to pass on the mic to the marginalised.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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