Discrimination ‘not unknown’ in India

Whitney Houston, Holly Robinson, Halle Berry … okay, I admit it. I've
always had a thing for black women.IPL cheerleaders 
Then again, I've also had a thing
for blonde women. And what about Indian women? Some of them are so hot,
you can cook chapatis on their chests. (No, in case you're wondering, my wife didn't let me.)

Beauty can be found in every race, every skin color, no matter what you might think from reading People magazine.
Unfortunately some people just can't get past skin color. They've been
conditioned into believing that light-skinned people are more
attractive than dark-skinned people. They'd walk right past Halle Berry
to ogle Mick Jagger.

It's a major problem in India, where
Fair & Lovely and other skin-lightening creams fly off the shelves
faster than toothpaste. (Yes, it's better to be toothless than
dark-skinned.) So I shouldn't be surprised that a couple of black
cheerleaders from Britain were recently mistreated in India.

Calcutta, May 19: Two
cheerleaders from London were asked to leave the ground at Mohali "€œbecause of the colour of their skin"€ by the Preity Zinta-hired event
management company, Wizcraft International Entertainment, which handles
her team, Kings XI Punjab.

One of the girls, Ellesha Newton, told The Telegraph: "€œIt was okay when we reached the stadium. It was when we were going to
take our positions that some of Wizcraft'€™s employees asked us to leave.
We were surprised and asked them why and they told us it was because of
the colour of our skin."€ [Link]

Wow, not only were they racist, they were blatant about it.

Wizcraft employee: "Sorry, you will have to leave."

Newton: "Why? What's wrong?"

Employee: "You are black. Please leave and don't come back until the Fair & Lovely has worked."

Sherinne, 25, burst out: "€œThis kind of thing has never happened to us before, not in Europe, not here, nowhere."

Eaton, their fellow cheerleader, said that after the first two matches
when they were all packed and ready to fly to the destination for the
third they were told their contract had been terminated.

found out later that the main reason was we were a mixed group and they
did not want coloured people," the 23-year-old Londoner said. [Link]

Perhaps Wizcraft should have put a sign at the airport: "Welcome to India. No
dark-skinned people allowed (except for the one billion already here)."

Cricketer Harbhajan Singh was recently accused by the Australians of
racial abuse and then let off but discrimination because of caste or
the colour of skin is not unknown in India
. [Link]

Now there's a newsflash. Not
unknown? That's like saying "Shoveling snow to clear walkways is not
unknown in Canada." Or "Gazing at Halle Berry photos is not unknown in
Melvin's house."

Photo by Rochak Chauhan

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through Amazon.com and McNallyRobinson.com You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.


  1. This is my first ever response to you, though i have been reading you for quite some time now.
    First, thanks for this wonderful blog.
    Second, i forwarded this post of yours to about 50 friends of mine.
    third, i had written a post earlier about a similar issue. I’d request you to have a look and comment at http://drsbhatia.blogspot.com/2008/03/great-indian-self-esteem.html

  2. Yeah India is the Land of the Original Racists. And we guys love to make it look like we are the victims. Ain’t we wonderful… WHat’s Nshima made of????

  3. The Pseudonym, Nshima is made of corn (maize) flour.

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