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Thursday, October 01, 2020

Malavika Mohanan recalls her experience with racism

Malavika Mohanan's observations come in the backdrop of the protests in the US, following the death of African American man George Floyd.

By: Entertainment Desk | Bengaluru | Updated: June 4, 2020 8:28:12 am
Malavika Mohanan master Malavika Mohanan speaks out against casual racism and colourism. (Photo: Malavika Mohanan/Instagram)

Actor Malavika Mohanan recently recalled her experience with discrimination due to her skin tone. She appealed everyone to introspect and reject the ‘casual racism’ that we encounter in our backyard.

“When I was 14 yrs old, one of my closest friends at that point told me that his mother never let him drink tea because she had this weird belief that drinking tea darkened ones’ skin complexion, and when he asked for tea once she told him (referring to me) “If you drink tea, you will become dark like her”. He was a fair maharashtrian boy and I was a wheat-ish skinned malayalee girl. The complexion dissimilarity we had had never even occurred to me up until that point. This left me perplexed because it was the first time somebody had made a comment like that with a mean undertone about my skin colour (sic),” she wrote on her Instagram page.

Malavika Mohanan’s observations come in the backdrop of the protests in the US, following the death of African American man George Floyd.

“So much casual racism and colourism exists in our own society. Calling a dark skinned person ‘kala’ is something we see on an everyday basis. The discriminatory behaviour against south-Indians and North-East Indians is also appalling. Dark skinned Indians are jokingly referred to as ‘madrasis’ because for some strange reason these ignorant people think all South Indians are only dark skinned. North-East Indians are almost exclusively only called ‘chinki’, all black people are casually referred to as ‘negros’ and fair people are equated as beautiful and dark skinned people are equated as ugly. While we speak about global racism, we must also become aware about what’s happening around us, in our homes, our friend circles and our society, and do our part in thwarting the obvious as well as the subtle racism and colourism that exists all around us, in our everyday lives. What makes you beautiful is being a good and kind person, and not the colour of your skin,” she added.

View this post on Instagram

When I was 14 yrs old, one of my closest friends at that point told me that his mother never let him drink tea because she had this weird belief that drinking tea darkened ones’ skin complexion, and when he asked for tea once she told him(referring to me) “If you drink tea, you will become dark like her”. He was a fair maharashtrian boy and I was a wheat-ish skinned malayalee girl. The complexion dissimilarity we had had never even occurred to me up until that point. This left me perplexed because it was the first time somebody had made a comment like that with a mean undertone about my skin colour. So much casual racism and colourism exists in our own society. Calling a dark skinned person ‘kala’ is something we see on an everyday basis. The discriminatory behaviour against south-Indians and North-East Indians is also appalling. Dark skinned Indians are jokingly referred to as ‘madrasis’ because for some strange reason these ignorant people think all South Indians are only dark skinned. North-East Indians are almost exclusively only called ‘chinki’, all black people are casually referred to as ‘negros’ and fair people are equated as beautiful and dark skinned people are equated as ugly. While we speak about global racism, we must also become aware about what’s happening around us, in our homes, our friend circles and our society, and do our part in thwarting the obvious as well as the subtle racism and colourism that exists all around us, in our everyday lives. What makes you beautiful is being a good and kind person, and not the colour of your skin. ✊🏻✊🏼✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿

A post shared by Malavika Mohanan (@malavikamohanan_) on

Malavika Mohanan is currently waiting for the release of Master, in which she has shared screen space with Vijay and Vijay Sethupathi.

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