India’s obsession with fair skin has grown with time. Men want fair skinned wives, fans want fair-skinned actors and devotees want fair skinned gods and goddesses. Obsession is such that India is home to a billion-dollar industry of fairness products which is endorsed by top celebrities now and then.
Fairness is assumed as a boon in our society for personal as well as professional growth. Remember that Fair and Lovely advertisement where Yami Gautam is conveniently selling the aspirations of a big house, dream job, and a car? Such is the obsession that we have conveniently painted all our gods in white color.
A Facebook post series; Dark is Divine is trying to change the narrative by portraying Hindu gods and goddesses in dark skins. The photography project of Naresh Nil is confronting the idea where white is considered a sacrosanct color while black reflects inauspiciousness. In his artworks, you will find a darker Goddes Durga than the regular idol which we have seen during puja and so on.
In his Facebook Post, Naresh Writes:
Divinity has many forms, and colours have been used in various ways to depict the Divine. The jury is out, but in common culture, we still find godliness being depicted through ‘white’ or ‘fair’ skin, right from the small photo of God in the neighborhood store, to the big framed photo hanging inside a house.
By depicting Gods we revere as dark-skinned, this initiative aims to celebrate a different view of their divinity, serenity and all pervasive beauty by going beyond perceptions.
Dark is not just beautiful, but divine.