Indian cricketer Abhinav Mukund in a heartfelt message took to social media slamming 'racism'. Speaking out against this menace, the Tamil Nadu cricketer who grabbed his opportunity in the first Test against Sri Lanka slamming 81 in the second innings, in a series of Twitter posts, including one long statement on Wednesday, said people had been "posting abuses" and "saying absolutely derogatory things about the tone of my skin."
— Abhinav mukund (@mukundabhinav) August 9, 2017
Here's his complete message:
"I have been playing cricket since the age of 10 and I have gradually climbed up the ladder to where I am right now. It is an honour to get the chance to represent the country at the highest level. I am writing today not to garner sympathy or attention but...with the hope to change the mindset of people on an issue I feel strongly about.
I have been travelling a lot within and outside our country since I was 15. Ever since I was young, people's obsession with my skin colour has always been a mystery to me. Any one who follows cricket would understand the obvious. I have played and trained day in and day out in the sun and not once have I regretted the fact that I have tanned or lost a couple of shades. It is simply because I love what I do and I have been able to achieve certain things only because I have spent hours outdoor. I come from Chennai probably one of the hottest places in our country and I have gladly spent most of my adult life in the cricket ground.
I have been subject to a lot of name calling and I have laughed and shrugged it off because I had bigger goals! Affected young, I toughened up because this was never something that would pull me down. There were many times when I chose not to dignify these insults with responses.
Today I am speaking up, not just for me. But for many from our country who experience ridicule based on the colour of one's skin. Obviously, with the rise of social media, it has gone to a magnitude that I see people hurling abuses left, right and centre at something I have absolutely no control over. Fair isn't the only lovely or handsome guys.
Stay true, stay focussed. Be comfortable in your own skin."
With that strongly-worded statement, Mukund, who has appeared in seven Tests for India, slammed the obsession of some of the countrymen with fair skin, saying he's long been targeted for abuse because of his complexion.
Following his post, there were speculations as to whether he was referring to the atmosphere in the dressing room when an Indian website ran the story under the headline "Hurt by online abuse, Abhinav Mukund slams racism in tweet."
On Thursday the 27-year-old, who is currently touring with the Indian cricket team in Sri Lanka, clarified that his social media remarks had nothing to do with his Indian teammates but towards people who were saying absolutely derogatory things about his skin tone.
Please don't turn this into something political,I just wanted to make a positive statement hoping to make a change. That s all.— Abhinav mukund (@mukundabhinav) August 10, 2017
Who have been posting abuses about colour and saying absolutely derogatory things about the tone of my skin. That s all !— Abhinav mukund (@mukundabhinav) August 10, 2017
Guys please don't turn this into something else,it has absolutely no connection to anyone in the team. It is mainly targeted at people 1/2— Abhinav mukund (@mukundabhinav) August 10, 2017
A few who are part of the dressing room including India skipper Virat Kohli, R Ashwin and Hardik Pandya showed their support by retweeting Mukund's post.
Read and learn, don't make it a headline cos its someone's emotion. https://t.co/AnN9EMofj2— Ashwin Ravichandran (@ashwinravi99) August 10, 2017
Cricket was introduced to the subcontinent during the British colonial rule, and a deep fascination with the game spread across the diverse region and helped India emerge as the global super power of the sport.
Discrimination is widespread in India, where fair skin is often considered more beautiful and superior, while many who belong to the traditional lower castes in India's ancient system of social hierarchy have darker skin and are seen as inferior.
"This mindset is a colonial hangover that Indians fancy for white skin," Indian sociologist Ranjana Kumari said. "This kind of mindset is perpetuated by films and by products marketed for making skin white. We have allowed all this in our country. This is a big mistake. This is totally unacceptable and deplorable."
With Agency inputs