A Matter of Black and White
In India, skin color seems to dominate all else. In this land of ‘wheatish’ skin, why is white skin so cherished and so desired? Why is black denigrated? A new ad for jewelry features the gorgeous Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, white as can be, and a small dark child slave holding an umbrella over her head. What were the creators of this ad thinking? Will colonialism and the British Raj continue to dominate our lives in free India? And how many more young people will associate dark skin with failure and repression. Is the solution in life a tube of skin whitening cream?
“The visual, which reflects 17th century European paintings of noblewomen with their child servants, is extremely objectionable, say a group of activists,” writes Scroll.in.
Not surprisingly the advertisement has received a lot of criticism and the creators have been accused of racism. In an open letter to Aishwariya Rai Bachchan, activists take on this issue: “In the advertisement you appear to be representing aristocracy from a bygone era – bejeweled, poised and relaxing while an obviously underage slave-child, very dark and emaciated, struggles to hold an oversize umbrella over your head.”
It goes on to say that “As an influential member of the Indian film industry and a popular star with a large fan following, we trust that you wish to use your image in a manner that promotes progressive thought and action, and would not knowingly promote regressive images that are racist and go against child rights.
We, therefore, urge you to do the right thing – cease to associate yourself with this offensive image by ensuring that further use of this advertisement is stopped.”
Well, what do you all think? Check out the article Here
Under Media Pressure – the ad is removed
Now comes the news that Kalyan Jewellers is withdrawing the ad – read about it Here