There is a unity in diversity, something that we have been learning since a very young age and yet we see discrimination everywhere on the basis of everything that people can find, whether it be caste, color or sex. No industry in our country is an exception to this, even the publicly loved Bollywood.
There are some in the industry who are understanding the problem and are trying to bring about a change while there are others who would add fuel to the flames. The debate of racism started in Bollywood when the casting director of Babumoshai Bandook baaz, Sanjay Chauhan, made a distasteful comment on the color of the skin of Nawazuddin Siddiqui.
Thank U 4 making me realise dat I cannot b paired along wid d fair & handsome bcz I m dark & not good looking, but I never focus on that.
— Nawazuddin Siddiqui (@Nawazuddin_S) July 17, 2017
During the promotions for the movie, Sanjay Chauhan said that he had to take in consideration the color of the skin of Nawazuddin Siddiqui during the casting of the roles. Nawazuddin took to Twitter to reply to Chauhan in the most graceful manner saying that he does not focus on the racist part of acting.
Other actors have raised their voices in support of Nawazuddin, knowing quite well his struggle in the industry to achieve the respect he commands today.
Taapsee Pannu said that our nation was obsessed with skin color and sells fairness creams in high volumes and the film industry should not be the only one targeted since our matrimonial columns, to this day, specify the color of the bride and groom.
Nandita Das has similar views, showing no surprise at the fact that Nawazuddin’s skin color was an issue when it came to his career as an actor. She rightfully says that we live in a country that is obsessed with light skin color and that dark-skinned people have to face a sort of inadequacy right from their childhood. She says that if Nawazuddin’s sheer talent and perseverance is the sole reason that people have started to get over the prejudice of skin-color.
Anshuman Jha brought up a fine point that in Hollywood, people appreciate talent and would not hesitate a moment before casting fair-skinned actors opposite dark-toned actors.
While we are still quite far from getting rid of racism from our society, this stand of Bollywood actors against racism is a small step for progress.