Bollywood is or Indians (in general) are racist or not, we wouldn’t like to comment on that because there are many who agree with the answer to this question and many who do not. Many would take an offence to it, so we let it be. But we definitely have some opinion on Bollywood which has, over the years, looked down upon dark-skinned people. Bollywood’s movies, songs and the way the industry has treated dark-skinned actors/actresses are a proof of it. There are instances when dusky actresses were called ‘kaali billis’ (black cat), their looks were labelled as ‘uncoventional’, and some now famous and great actors were completely sidelined for their ‘average’ looks. To name a few of them, Bipasha Basu, Nandita Das, Konkana Sen Sharma, Manoj Bajpai, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, all have been the target of this treatment.
Here’s a list of Bollywood songs glorifying fair skin as if one can never feel attracted to a dark-skinned person. These songs have gone on to become superhits but we are still wondering why is the industry so obsessed with fair skin or the word gora and gori. Is it the colonial hangover?
1. Chittiyan Kalaiyan
This entire song is a little problematic because why should your husband take you out for shopping and movies, you can also take him out, right? No? Okay. Coming back to the point. The song became an instant hit with the Indian (read racist) masses and it is still a rage, which talks about the girl’s ‘chittiyan kalaaiyan’ (white wrists), mind you, she even mentions the word ‘white’ in the song.
2. Ye Kaali Kaali Ankhein, Ye Gore Gore Gaal
This hit song of the movie, Baazigar, with which Kajol made her debut in the industry, is featured on the actress. Thankfully, Kajol was not whitewashed but we are confused why was her cheeks referred to as ‘gore gore’, what, exactly, is the problem with ‘kaale kaale’?
3. Chura Ke Dil Mera Goriya Chali
Picturised on Shilpa Shetty in the movie, Main Khiladi Tu Anari, Akshay Kumar sings it for her.
Actor Mehmood sings this song, in the movie Gumnaam, who’s trying to woo a fair-skinned, Helen. So, basically, he’s trying to prove to her that he has a heart, even though he is dark-skinned. Wait, what?
6. Gori Gori Gori, Main Hoon Naa
This list isn’t exhaustive. Share with us songs that you think promote racism in the comments section.