Contemplating issues of colour

Contemplating issues of colour
Tannishtha Chatterjee, who was publicly humiliated for the colour of her skin on TV recently

For a country whose beauty lies in its diversity, the rigid mentality of some Indians - steeped in stereotypical biases and outward appearances - is appalling (Colour Coded, Oct 28). From north to south and east to west, India is a melting pot of castes, colours and creeds. Sadly, instead of embracing this diversity, we have drawn boundaries and use the notion of democracy to hurt our fellow citizens, further inculcating in our youth the same biases that have affected us all this time.
Skin tone has been a prime cause for mockery, while other aspects of the Indian societal system have long discriminated against, and marginalised, minorities. The dowry system has been much deliberated but not yet eradicated, while the birth of the girl child is still seen as a stigma in some parts. In the same way, the beauty of the Indian skin tone, while widely appreciated overseas, is the cause of much grief within Indian borders.
Thankfully, multicultural kids today are far more understanding and empathetic in their approach to such cultural biases. I believe that we need to steer the focus of our youth towards important issues such as equality, greener environments and world peace, rather than dwelling on petty issues like skin colour. We do not need more cause for conflict.
Gauresh Gurudas, by email

» Not so black & white
While a very relevant topic, I believe it would have left a bigger impact if Tannishtha Chatterjee had not walked off the TV show set in disgust but rather stayed on to make her point to a wider audience (Colour Coded, Oct 28). An articulate person like her would have had a profound impact! In this case, however, Khalid Mohamed seems to have reacted more aggressively than Tannishtha herself.
In today's modern world, rather than being reactive, we should all aim to be proactive, when it comes down to addressing undesirable elements in society - and not just do so in the media. In fact, the media should be at the steering wheel to navigate this matter through murky waters. Will this be the last incident of its kind? One can hardly believe so. But I do hope that Tannishtha knows that her tanned skin tone is cool. And that it is something she should show off with pride.
Siraj Khan, by email

» A thought-provoking issue
There was a running theme of contemplative cheer across the last edition of wknd. Every other article imbued optimism and food for thought for the reader. The quips from Julia Roberts (Closing Credits, Oct 28) spurred me to think of ageing gracefully - not an easy deliberation for a 25-year old, who would rather fixate on the delightful Diwali desserts by Ritu Chaturvedi (Kitchen Classics) than ponder over their long-term ramifications on the waistline!
Biases against skin tone and race are grounds for hypocrisy (Bollywood). Perhaps, someday, the Indian subcontinent will have a fair-skinned celebrity speak out against the complexion bias, just like Dustin Hoffman lent his support against the white Oscars. As a long-time reader of wknd., I can proudly assert that its fashion corner has truly depicted beauty in all its myriad forms - across ethnicities and complexions.
It also struck me that this complexion debate would probably seem most absurd to the visually impaired yet immensely gifted Manning brothers (Not Being Blindsided). Fortunately, during this festival of lights, our generation has demonstrated exemplary generosity through the Pink Mango Project and the Goodwill Tribe (Spreading the Diwali Cheer), and helped dissipate the darkness of ignorance and strife. Thank you wknd. for livening up UAE's Diwali!
Aviral Srivastava, by email

» Love triangles
The Uncoupling (Talking Point, Oct 28) was an exciting article from a prolific writer. Incidentally, the three Bollywood characters mentioned in the article are my all-time favourites among a long list of film personalities.
I have always been a great fan of Shahid  Kapoor and try not to miss any of his movies. The main reason? His extraordinary dancing and acting abilities, obviously.
The same is true for Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone. The two are great at everything they do and I really hope they both get their relationship back on the rails soon enough and continue to entertain us as usual. It would be doubly exciting if they could rekindle their fire during the brightly-lit festival of Diwali. I know it would make people all over the world - including me! - very happy, during this Diwali and the days to follow.
Partha Kanjilal, via email




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