Image courtesy: AFP
Image courtesy: AFP

Tony Greig wanted to make the West Indians ‘grovel’. Darren Lehmann got banned for calling the visiting Sri Lankans “F****** black c***”. Andrew Symonds’ the infamous ‘Monkeygate’. Cricket has seen its share of racism. Not all of it is spoken or reported but many do face jibes and taunts targeting skin colour. Abhinav Mukund happens to be from Chennai where it is no uncommon to be dark-skinned. The Indian opener came out with a strong message on Twitter. ALSO READ: Mukund’s touching note on racism; says ‘fair isn’t the only lovely or handsome’

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 negativity 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 found overwhelming support from all quarters and his teammates were the first ones to back him up. Captain Virat Kohli retweeted the post expressing his support, while Ravichandran Ashwin, who hails from the same state as Mukund, went a step further and made a statement.

 

Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya implied with his tweet that he is comfortable in his skin colour and appreciated the left-hander.

 

He also found support from Bengal skipper Manoj Tiwary and badminton star Jwala Gutta.

 

 

Mukund found support from general masses and media in particular. However, it remains surprising that in a country like India where dark skin is common, there is still an obsession with fair skin. Top celebrities continue to endorse fairness products whose taglines border around ‘being fair is being successful and being dark is not.’

Time to change the myth and Mukund has done a commendable job by providing this eye-opener.