I was watching Raziya Sultan and noticed that the actor playing Yuqut Jamaludin, Razia's Habshi love interest, is in black face. Could you comment on the use of black face in Indian cinema?
Yeah i remember that! UGh it’s such a common practice from older times 2 new honestly shadeism and antiblackness in indian society is so so so common and has gone off unchallenged. you can see blackface used in films like Meri Surat Teri Aankhen (1963) which is like supposed to be a socially conscious film or something?? About how a darker-skinned man is hated by his family but is good n pious etc. and they have Ashok Kumar in blackface! Like even if you had the intention to do a film like that on shadeism what do you accomplish by having a well known n pretty light skinned actor do blackface? It’s so shitty, n they continue to do that rather than casting people who actually break away from the light skinned , big-eyed, tall, slender North-indian archetype of acceptable protagonists. Even Satyajit Ray latched onto this in stuff like Days and Nights in the Forest with Simi Grewal in blackface playing an indigenous Santhal woman (n Grewal is soooo light like why would you even make this type of casting when you could hire anyone??). And then with blackface comes the conflation of black = savage (see Aa Jaane Ja from Intaquam tw really racist) which is also indicative of the casteist sentiments of a lot of Indian cinema especially Bollywood. OR if we look at other supposedly feminist or socially conscious films, blackface or just darker skinned actors are used as the archetype rapist after the young fair n pious uppercaste Hindu woman and that’s like e v e r y w h e r e in those films you can even again see it in so-called progressive films like Ashani Sanket by Ray to the latest Salman Khan film. There’s like so much you can say about how horrifying media representation of black people or even dark-skinned people of India itself is and how that ties with religious bigotry and classism , casteism etc. It’s such a powerful tool used to reinforce shadeism and racism there.