Friday, December 16, 2016

Imagining white gods: colourism in Hindu calendar art

OUTLOOK
By Nikhil Mandalaparthy
By analyzing a representative sample of Amar Chitra Katha comics, Parameswaran and Cardoza conclude that skin colour is intentionally associated with certain attributes. There is a reason heroes and devas are shown with light skin, while villains and asuras are given dark skin
INDIA---It's no secret that light skin is favoured over the darker one throughout the Indian sub-continent. How does religion play a role in reinforcing these attitudes? One needs to look no further than our gods and goddesses themselves. Today, 'calendar art' is the most widespread artistic style through which Hindu deities are perceived. Pioneered by Raja Ravi Varma, calendar art became hugely popular as the lithographic press spread throughout India. Calendar art has now become the de facto method of portraying Hindu deities in today's India and the diaspora. In almost every case, Hindu deities portrayed in this style have extremely fair skin. [link]