Fair and Tall : Handsome or Feudalistic?

Dr. Neha Gupta

A recent remark by Mr Rajnath Singh “English language has spoilt Indians and their culture” attracted attention of almost everyone who heard or read the news. Most of the new generation Indians including myself believe its an advantage to know English as it opens up opportunities to work abroad, read English books etc. Some feel, speaking English shows that they are hep and cool and also superior to others (those who are not fluent with the language).

We, Indians are actually hypocrites! On one side, we criticize people having feudal mindset calling it a thing of past but on the other side we encourage this feudalistic thoughts in one way or the other. We try to show our superiority over others in one way or the other. Some use muscle power, some may use money! Some may show off their expensive western clothes or some may utter English as a sign of superiority.

These days we see various advertisements on television which have deliberately insinuated in the minds of the people that being ‘fair’ (as in fair complexion) is one of the necessity in today’s world. A girl is rejected for marriage because she has dark complexion but when she uses a fairness cream and her complexion becomes ‘glistening white’, she gets a groom easily! A girl is denied a job because of her non white complexion but as she becomes white by using a fairness cream, she faces no difficulty. Leave about girls, we can now see boys in those advertisements who are looked down upon by girls because they are dark and when these boys use ‘special fairness creams for men’, all girls start running after them. Moreover these advertisements are endorsed by our big Bollywood stars like Shahrukh Khan!

Have we ever given a thought, from where does this idea of ‘becoming fair’ or ‘fair complexion is superior’ comes? NO!! if you go back to the past, you will realize it is a result of our feudalistic mindsets. We were made to accept that whites are superior to blacks during British Raj and the same thing has been continuing even thought the Britishers are no more here! So many girls find it difficult to find a place in our society because of dark complexion and its not easy to find a groom for them. It is all a result of these advertisements which make everyone think that ‘white complexion’ is superior.

Similarly, why do we laugh at a short stature person? Why does everyone want to be tall? Why do health drinks like ‘Complan’, ‘Bournvita’, ‘Horlicks’ show advertisements showing a child of short height being mocked at and bullied by a tall height child and when short one drinks these, he too becomes tall and bullies the one who was bullying him? Don’t we consider tall height superior to short? Are we again not encouraging feudalistic thoughts in the minds of our children by these advertisements? By watching these ads they learn that tall can overpower the short ones like people in the earlier times used to think. Remember we have read and see in the movies how old Zamindars used to have tall, hefty men as side kicks who would go and trouble poor and thin, small looking villagers?

Why can’t we teach our children to eat good and stay healthy instead of pushing them to get taller? Everyone (educated/ uneducated) knows and understands well that short height parents will have a short height kid and vice versa. Don’t we want a complete physical, mental and sociocultural development of the child rather than hanging him at a height so that he becomes taller?

We should understand that complexion and height are mostly decided by our genes which we inherit from our parents and some of it is affected by our nutrition and environment. We really can’t change our genes as till date medical science has not progressed that much.

We Indians, even if not under foreign rule are still encouraging feudalistic thoughts. Don’t we want to end such irrational thoughts and behavior? Instead of buying these fairness creams and health drinks which spread wrong messages, we should demand a ban on such companies and their advertisements.

We need to have a superior mindset because only that can contribute to our success and our country’s development and fair complexion and tall height are not really something on which our happiness and success depends!

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2 Responses to “Fair and Tall : Handsome or Feudalistic?”

  1. biplab das 19 August 2013 at 10:55 PM #

    u well said Dr. Neha….. We, Indians are actually hypocrites!

  2. rana 22 August 2013 at 9:41 AM #

    thik katha. nehar theke aro lekha chai


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