According to research firm Nielsen, the fairness cream industry as a whole is estimated to be worth Rs 2.940 crore.
Recently a Fairness cream advertisement was being aired on television. In the new "Fair and Handsome" ad Shah Rukh Khan tosses a tube of fairness cream to a young fan. In the next scene, the boy's skin grows whiter, his smile brightens and his hopes rise. The message: Fair skin is a prerequisite for success.
The new "Fair and Handsome" ad featuring Shah Rukh Khan tells the youth of our nation that success depends hugely upon having fair skin. It targets young boys with a message tainted with colorism and discrimination.
Dark skin girls who have a dream of winning beauty contests in India would have been speedily disabused of such ambitions unless they looked like Aishwarya Rai.
Don't forget the first black Miss World was Jennifer Hoston in 1970 the first black Miss Universe was Janelle Commissoing in 1977 and most recently Indian origin Nina Davuluri was crowned Miss America in 2013. So why the fuss?
What development we are talking about in the 21st century where the world is given "Black and White"?In a country where the majority of the population is dark-skinned; there is a widely held belief that dark complexions are inferior to fair ones.
This prejudice manifests itself in everything from hiring practices that favor light-skinned employees to matrimonial ads that list fairness as a non-negotiable characteristic of the future bride or groom.
In the media, light-skinned actors and models are in high demand, while dark-skinned performers are rarely seen on screen. The message is clear: Fair skin represents beauty and success, and as a result, Indians are keen consumers of products that promise to lighten skin.
While racism runs deep in India's history, its roots are intertwined with caste and colonialism, in today's India, it finds expression in consumer behavior and corporate advertising.
"I don't believe creams make you confident and presentable, who shrug off the idea that fairness creams make Indians confident." Confidence comes from education. It comes from a sense of accomplishment. It's stupid to think that creams will make one confident.
We do not want to see the next generation define their worth according to a hierarchy of color. Once we come to terms with the true diversity of our country – not only of caste and creed but also of color.
We want ours to be a nation that encourages young people to pursue their dreams, without color discrimination.
This article is written by Mr. Bishwajit Bahera, he is an employee of MNC in Bangalore.