Thursday, March 26, 2015

NDTV links 'fair skin' with 'caste system'; Rajiv Malhotra responds

Is there a link between some Indians' putative preference for white skin with their 'Hindu-ness'? None and that's a stupid association, says Rajiv Malhotra, the Indian-American writer-researcher on culture and co-author of best-selling book 'Breaking India'.

NDTV seems to have been going to great lengths to insinuate a link between what it sees as Indians' "obsession" with fair complexioned skin on the one hand and the "caste system" and even "racism" on the other.

In a programme telecast on Wednesday, 25th March 2015, Prannoy Roy, NDTV's founder and executive chairperson himself, was at pains to make the viewers believe that we Indians are obsessed with glorifying fairer skin and disparaging darker skin.

The programme employed hidden cameras to sting retailers trying, allegedly, to have a young woman buy fairness creams and even staged a corporate job interview in a restaurant where the interviewer tells a supposedly smart male candidate - much to the outrage of a family sitting at the next table - that his dark complexion disqualified him for a marketing role.

"In the ancient scriptures, epics, or folk tales, the good character is always pictured as being fair in complexion, suggesting that the fair are fair dealing and the dark complexioned has evil intentions. Add to that a history peppered with colonization by lighter-skinned invaders from the west, inequalities introduced by the caste system and 200 years of British rule, and it becomes quite clear why exactly the concept of fairness being superior is embedded deep within the Indian psyche," says a 'dope-sheet' posted on the website of NDTV Media Institute.

http://www.ndtvmi.com/b6/dopesheets/harpreet.pdf

The following is a Facebook entry on the same theme that I found on the Web.

"NDTV's What's Your Choice says skin colour discrimination is a social and commercial evil . Prannoy Roy on NDTV join Dark Is Beautiful as we challenge the system and the society to stop skin colour bias." ?#?IndiaFightsBack?

https://www.facebook.com/darkisbeautiful

And the link below is of a video clip of another programme telecast recently on NDTV revealing, purportedly, the skin colour prejudice of the Indian film industry.

http://www.ndtv.com/video/player/what-s-your-choice/is-casting-people-with-dark-complexion-a-strict-no-no-in-the-film-industry/360175

The association that NDTV makes in such programmes, I believe, could also play well with the Aryan-Dravidian race theory.
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Responding to one of my posts on the above topic on an online group that discusses his work, Rajiv Malhotra commented: "Frankly, I find it ridiculous. It's become a way out for guilt-ridden Indians wanting to blame everything on Hinduism."

Malhotra is the Indo-American writer-researcher on culture, founder-director of US-based Infinity Foundation, and author of such path-breaking works on Indian culture as 'Being Different', 'Breaking India', and 'Indra's Net'. 

He said Natyashastra, India's oldest theory of aesthetics, and other aesthetic theories that give criteria for beauty, mentioned things like symmetry, but not fair skin as a quality of beauty.

"Krishna is dark. Shiva is dark. Kali and Durga are dark. Hanuman is dark. This would not be the case if Hinduism was against dark skin. Hindu deities and heroes are dark and fair skinned. Traditional India was not color biased.

On the other hand, Bible is full of hatred for dark skinned 'Sons of Ham' who were cursed. 'Breaking India' explains this.

The Afro-Dalit project is manipulating this to superimpose Black/White racism as Indian caste problem. The Oxford (University's) blockage for (Subramanyam) Swamy/me was under pressure from both Muslims groups and the Black and Ethnic Minorities organization at Oxford. The latter are the Afro-Dalit champions who cant stand the analysis in 'Breaking India'."

(The reference to Oxford is to a recent decision by Oxford University to disinvite Malhotra and BJP leader Subramanyam Swamy in a programme under pressure from some groups.) 
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