Abhinav Mukund en route to 81 in the Galle Test (Image courtesy: AFP)
Abhinav Mukund en route to 81 in the Galle Test (Image courtesy: AFP)

Racism is one of the issues that has plagued our good world. Discrimination on basis of skin colour has a gloomy history, and unfortunately it still prevails in today’s world. It even extends to the sporting world. We have seen sportsmen with African ancestry being ridiculed for their skin colour, and India, despite not being a ‘white’ nation, has been its own obsession with ‘fairness’. Plethora of celebrities including the icons such as Shahrukh Khan promote fairness cream products, whose taglines generally revolve around ‘being fair will guide you climb the success ladder and being dark will not’.

‘Kalu’, ‘Kalia’, ‘Blacky’, and so on are terms we hear on regular basis in India while addressing dark-skinned people and this country has them aplenty. While friends see a fun side of it, the fact remains far away from being ‘funny’. There have been discriminations and depressions leading to loss of confidence, and sometimes suicides in many cases. In not-so developed regions in India, a dark-skinned girl’s future is deemed doomed. However, Indian cricketer Abhinav Mukund has chosen to stand against the colour-based social evil. Mukund’s talent as an opening batsman has paved his path to the national side. He hails from Chennai, South of India, where it is common to be dark-skinned. More importantly, the Indian cricketer has raised the issue of being comfortable in ‘your own skin’.

In a touching message on Twitter, Mukund shared a note that mentions: “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 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.”

He went on to reveal that the post is not just about himself but many others who face similar ordeals and how social media has helped these negative amplify. He added, “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.”

Mukund is bound to earn accolades for his heart-warming post. As an international cricketer he has done his bit to help subside the obsession with fairness. In a series of tweets he further explained:

The left-hander is currently a part of the Test series in Sri Lanka. Having made his debut in Kingston in 2011, the 27-year-old has represented India in 7 Tests, and has notched up 2 fifties, with the last being his 81 in the second innings at Galle last month.