It is no secret that I am no Sangh parivar fan. They have alays been the butt of my jokes and target of my trenchant criticism. Of late Biplab Deb the new Tripura BJP Chief Minister provided me some amusement hen he claimed that during Mahabharata times there were computers and satellites. But his latest witticism brings me to his side than against him. Deb’s preferred beauty queen is Aiswarya Rai , He drops the pearl of wisdom that Diana Hayden was not fit to be Miss World.The reason? Ash has white skin and Diana’s skin is briow! Mr.Deb feels that a beauty queen must be like Lakshmi and Saraswati I am sure he has seen the two ladies – Lakshmi and Saraswati and not Ash and Di.-- and ogled at them. For if has not seen Lakshmi and Saraswati at close quarters , how would he know they are white? He must have seen their clalendar poerteaits. But if he goes to temples in southern India and sees their statues in greay or black stones, will he accept that they arte grey or black and not white? Now you might suspect that I was being sarcastic when I said I am defending Biplab dear on thisa issue. Not at all. I am being dead serious. There were attempts to score brownie points over Biplab’s Ash and Diu remark. But for once, let us not castigate BJP on this, BJP has the habiut of wriggling out of embarrassing situations when some top leader makes controversial remarks by saying it was his personal opinion. But this timre I believe that it was Deb’s personal opinion and not the party’s. For no political oarty has a collective preference between Ash ad Di BJP is not going to issue a show cause notice to anyone asking why they should not be expelled for being a Di fan while the party’s idea of beauty is Ash. To be fair to Deb he was only expressing a widespread prejudice probably buried deep in the subconscious of every Indian and in many cases very evident on the surface. You only got to open your SSunday newspaper and look at the matrimonial. How many matrimonial ads do you see asking for a dusky bride?All ads ask only for fair skinned girl? You see when it comes to ads for grooms, the colour preference will never be giuven but the brides will always have toi be fair skinned ( In addition to “home loving” whatever that means). I say without hesitation: We are the most racist country in the world. There is a method in the South African apartheid. The Purpose was to isolate natrive people from the wealth and resources of the country so that they can be monopolized by the colonizers and their descendents. But in India it is all madness and no method. It is obsession with the white skin for the sake of white skin. I suspect that this obsession with the white skin and our getting overawed by it was the reason why we were under the British colonial rule for a couple of centuries and more. This reminds me of an incident when a friend of my mom after looking at a picture of Lord Mountbatten exclaimed :”Oh he is so WHITE and hanbdsome”. My mother’s risposte was : “Should we ask the Brits to rule us for another 200 years?” .It is ironic while whites yearn for a tan, rubbing oil all over the body and sitting in the sun, we prize the white skin. Where do fairness creams sell like hot cakes.? IN US, Britain perhaps? No IN MERA BHARAT MAHAAN. All the TV channels went for the throat oif poor Biplab Deb for his remark. But how many of them employ dark skinned anchors? Even if they are slightly dusky, thy are made to look fair through make up and lighting. So before taking the moral high ground on the Ash vs Di issue let them put their own house in order. So ye who want to stone Biplab on the issue, let someone who was not fascinated by white skin cast the first stone. Anf Biplab you look quite dusky, why don’t you use some men’s fairness cream now flooding the market. ? Don’t you want to be a Sanghi poster boy?