August 10th, 2019

Fair. And very, very un-lovely

One of the vilest products on sale in India (&, sadly, exported to much of Asia) is a skin whitener called “Fair and Lovely”.

It is a product based on a horrible premise, namely that the fairer the skin, the lovelier you are.

Research carried out by the manufacturers of Fair & Lovely, Hindustan Unilever Limited, claims that apparently “90 percent of Indian women want to use whiteners because it is aspirational, like losing weight. A fair skin is like education, regarded as a social and economic step up.”

Jeez.

This disturbing mindset has been on revolting display this week, ever since the political changes in Kashmir, a state in north India.

Kashmiris are often fairer-skinned than the average Indian, so we have been treated to some truly shocking statements from male (obviously) politicians.

These men, elected politicians, from the ruling BJP party, gleefully state how they can now bring Kashmiri women to be brides…because, dear reader, the changed political situation now means that these fair skinned women can inherit property if they marry outside the state, unlike before.

Double whammy.

Fair AND with property rights.

We’ll leave the sexist inheritance rules for another debate, shall we, and concentrate on these creepy men and their views of women.

First up was this man.

One Vikram Saini.

This flower of Indian manhood.

A BJP MLA and a high school drop-out.

He said that BJP workers who were bachelors were very happy with the change of the Kashmiri status quo, since they could now go marry Kashmiri women. And I quote:

“The workers are very excited and those who are bachelors can get married there. There is no issue now. Earlier, there was lot of atrocities on women. If a woman from Kashmir got married to a man from Uttar Pradesh, her citizenship would be revoked. There was different citizenship for India and Kashmir,” the lawmaker says in Hindi in a clip widely circulated on social media.

“Muslim workers should celebrate. They can get married to fair Kashmiri girls. There should be celebrations. Everyone should celebrate, be it Hindus or Muslims. This is something the entire country should be celebrating.”

“Ach, ignore him,” I hear you mutter. “He’s just an MLA, with no real power, no national status.”

Never mind, the racist, misogynist baton has been passed by Mr. Saini to one Manohar Lal Khattar, the Chief Minister of Haryana, a state that is right next door to Delhi. A state where my daughter drives to work every day.

Listen to what one of the country’s Chief Ministers has to say about Kashmiri women:

 “Nowadays people are saying that path to Kashmir has been cleared. Now we will bring girls from Kashmir.”

Ugh, it makes your flesh creep.

The brazen, disgusting reduction of women to nothing more than commodities.

“We will bring girls”.

This arrogance, this racism, this, this….words fail me.

As words have obviously failed the powers that be, since neither man has been reprimanded for his comments.

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