The images of popular Hindu Gods like Lord Krishna, Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva and Goddess Kali are dark or blue or dusky in appearance. Some of the prayers and bhajans dedicated to Gods and Goddesses extol their dark color. But even while praying to these dusky skin gods and chanting these mantras, a large section of Hindus have an obsession for whiteness or fair skin complexion.
There are numerous other Gods that are blue or dusky colored. Lord Ram is blue colored. Popular characters in the Mahabharata have dusky skin tone. Arjuna is said to have had dark skin tone and it is mentioned in numerous regional versions of the Mahabharat.
Draupadi, for whom all the kings and princess of that era vied for in the Swayavara, was dark. Some were even ready to go into war for the dark-colored Draupadi, who had captivated and enamored all the men her era.
But followers a great tradition that worships dark color is obsessed with fair skin.
Perhaps we Hindus yearn for fair skin because it is what majority of Hindus don’t have. So we get excited when we see fair skinned people and desire for it. This is reflected in majority of the matrimonial advertisements that seek for light complexion or fair brides.
The fair complexion becomes an issue mainly during marriage.
But the groom is lucky because there are only few advertisements that seek fair bridegrooms. Again a reflection of a male-dominated society.
Hindu parents of dark-complexioned sons always prefer fair bride but the same parents lament that their dark-complexioned daughter is not getting a good husband due to her skin color.
What matters is the skin not the character of the person. We are interested in skin deep relationships.
Advertisements, Bollywood, regional cinemas, caste and social values all are responsible for this obsession for fairness.
But what is most baffling is that we are ready to worship the dark colored gods and take their blessings but not ready to accept a dark-colored person as a life partner.
A true student of Sanatana Dharma should not be surprised at this obsession for fair skin because sages of ancient India had foreseen this and it is mentioned in the chapter in the Srimad Bhagavad Purana that predicts about the happenings in the Kali Yuga.
Men and women will live together merely because of superficial attraction.
Womanliness and manliness will be judged according to one's expertise in sex. (Today fair skin is seen as womanliness).
A person's spiritual position will be ascertained merely according to external symbols, and on that same basis people will change from one spiritual order to the next. (Today fair skin is an important quality for priests and self-proclaimed agents of Gods).