Posted by Fenil Seta
Subhash K Jha (DNA; July 24, 2017)
Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s comments on how much racism he has had to face in Bollywood has made his Manto director speak in his support. Says Nandita Das, “It is no surprise that Nawaz’s skin colour would have impeded his career. All around us — be it films, television, magazines, hoardings, ads, everywhere we have ‘fair’ people, in a country that is largely dark!”
She blames fairness creams for the mistreatment of dark-skinned actors. “Every skin care product has a skin lightening element. Dark-skinned people are often made to feel inadequate, right from their childhood,” she says.
Nandita has been championing skin indiscrimination from the time she entered the entertainment industry. “Having supported the ‘Dark is Beautiful’ campaign for the last four years, I’m aware of so many more stories of discrimination. At least, many doors have opened for people like Nawaz and me, but what about those who are pushed to the wall as most doors just close on them?”
The actress admires Nawaz for overcoming Bollywood stereotyping to emerge as a force to reckon with. “In an industry where being fair is one of the primary ingredients of good looks and being accepted, I can see the challenges that Nawaz must have faced in his career. After he has been around for over 10 years, it’s his sheer talent and perseverance that has made him overcome this prejudice. I am happy for him.”