Opener Abhinav Mukund lashes out at trolls targeting his skin colour

In a lengthy post on Twitter, Abhinav Mukund, who is presently in Sri Lanka with the Indian team, wrote that he was speaking up not just for himself but “for many from our country who experience ridicule based on the colour on one’s skin”.

Written by Bharat Sundaresan | Mumbai | Updated: August 11, 2017 10:41 am
abhinav mukund, abhinav mukund letter, abhinav mukund twitter Abhinav Mukund explained that his post was directed at those posting derogatory things about his skin colour. (Source: AP)

India’s test opener Abhinav Mukund has lashed out at social-media trolls who have been commenting on his complexion. In a lengthy post on Twitter, Mukund, who is presently in Sri Lanka with the Indian team, wrote that he was speaking up not just for himself but “for many from our country who experience ridicule based on the colour on one’s skin”.

In later tweets, he explained that his post was directed at those posting derogatory things about his skin colour and had no connection with anyone in the team.

“Fair isn’t the only lovely or handsome guys! Stay true, stay focussed, be comfortable in your own skin,” he wrote. Mukund’s reaction might well have been triggered by a few comments on a picture tweeted by allrounder Hardik Pandya, which has the Tamil Nadu left-hander posing next to Virat Kohli and K L Rahul among others.

One comment read, “the guy at extreme left in second pic is way too black to even called black”. Another one, this time in response to Mukund’s post, said, “sir SOUTH ke saare aise hi kaale kalutee hote hn (everyone from the south are black like this)…not your mistake…”

Going public

In a climate where Indian cricketers have generally refrained from commenting on social or political issues, Mukund’s decision to go public with his grievance stands out. He revealed that he’d been subject to name-calling and insults from a young age, and had over the years shrugged them off. But the rise of social media, he wrote, had burgeoned the magnitude of the abuse targeting those with darker skin.

“I have been subject to a lot of name calling and I have laughed and shrugged it off because I had bigger goals! Affected young, I toughened up because this was never something that would pull me down. There were many times when I chose not to dignify these insults with responses. Obviously, with the rise of social media it has gone to a magnitude that I see people hurling abuses left, right and centre at something I have absolutely no control over,” he posted.

“I am writing today not to garner sympathy or attention but with the hope to change the mindset of people on an issue I feel strongly about,” he wrote.

And, while insisting that people’s “obsession” over his skin colour had been a “mystery” to him, he said he doesn’t regret all the hours he spent under the hot Chennai sun playing cricket.

“I have been playing cricket since the age of 10 and I have gradually climbed up the ladder to where I am right now. It is an honour to get the chance to represent the country at the highest level. I have been travelling a lot within and outside our country since I was 15,” wrote the 27-year-old batsman.

“I have played and trained day in and day out in the sun and not once have I regretted the fact that I have tanned or lost a couple of shades. It is simply because I love what I do and I have been able to achieve certain things only because I have spent hours outdoors. I come from Chennai probably one of the hottest places in our country and I have gladly spent most of my adult life in the cricket ground,” he wrote.

Mukund has played 7 Tests for India, the latest being the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle last month, and has spent more than a decade in domestic cricket.

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  1. B
    Aug 11, 2017 at 2:15 pm
    Whether u r black or white, how u play is important.
    1. N
      Aug 11, 2017 at 1:15 pm
      Those comments must have come from the North of Nagpur where Madrasis are not considered Aryans.Is it any wonder the caste is reigning over Indian politics sports and social mobility?.The cow belt of BJP has no knowledge of geography, history or sociology of this country.The less said the better,the manu wadis will go for white skin and Brahminical view of life and society.The white North will give a handle to them,and the Aryans will lead this country to a totalitarian state.It is time the Dravidian parties and those regional ones challenge the Aryan party and its monopoly over India.
      1. S
        Aug 11, 2017 at 11:45 am
        Firstly I commend Abhinav Mukund for publicly broaching the topic. It is never a comfortable one and this ugliness of our society has be constantly brought out to atleast temporarily shame people so they are reminded that it is wrong. What can one say when stars like Shah Rukh Khan are promoting the concept of whitening cream on TV for money. People like Tarun Vijay are unable to look beyond skin colour when their subconscious seems to believe that South India is dark when reality is all shades of dark is found all over India though darker skin is more predominant in the south and east. It is a sort of a self hatred of Indians. If you look around it is there within our families.
        1. S
          Aug 11, 2017 at 10:32 am
          Abhi Don't worry. Namma oru Superstar Karuppu than.
          1. S
            Aug 11, 2017 at 10:30 am
            It is sad , when we Indian are saying in Other countries Racism is there and not in INdia. But nowadays even our own Indians are targeting other other fellow Indians . this should change
            1. P
              Preeta Gupta
              Aug 11, 2017 at 10:36 am
              Sathishji, it is NOT "nowadays" that our own Indians are targetting other fellow Indians.....this has been going on since ages...I can tell you my own example of having been a target to colour ridicule 40 years ago too. Its a mental deformity of the humans, specially the fairer group. The mindset cannot be changed....ever.....
            2. V
              Aug 11, 2017 at 7:22 am
              Abhinav Mukund should have a thick skin. Listen: Color of skin has been with us for ever --since civilization began. Here is good counsel for him-- Take a tip from the sun: "When a dog barks at the sun, the sun doesn't stop ..." Sathya Parthar
              1. H
                Honest Citizen
                Aug 11, 2017 at 6:26 am
                Kudos to Abhinav Mukund for squashing these racist scum. The fairest Indians, some of whom are actually South Indians, would be considered dark in comparison to the Whites. The likes of Tarun Vijay, who recently opined that South Indians are "black", and the pitiable, hate-filled ghouls who trolled Mukund, are all just examples of the racist low-IQ subhuman specimens who let down true Indian culture.
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