“While movements like Black Lives Matter have had a profound impact in the West, in South Asian countries it is still a long-drawn battle,” she mentioned.

Ms. Emmanuel mentioned that skin-tone biases had the best influence on marriage and social points however that in some fields, together with leisure, hospitality and modeling, “the qualification goes without saying that you need to be fair-skinned, particularly for women.”

Other commentators, although, insisted that colorism in India is completely different from racism within the West.

“The preference for lighter skin is largely aesthetic and does not have structural economic or power consequences,” mentioned Dipankar Gupta, a widely known sociologist.

“It is not as if a policeman would routinely harass darker-skinned people,” Mr. Gupta added. “Indians can recognize class and status through a number of markers, but skin color is not one of them.”

Still, throughout India, there’s nice social stress for individuals to hunt light-skinned spouses.

Mohinder Verma, a businessman, defended putting an advert in a newspaper through which he looked for his son a “tall, good-looking” bride with “fair skin” who has a college diploma however prefers to be a stay-at-home spouse.

Mr. Verma, 72, mentioned mother and father in India felt stress inside their social circles to search out brides for his or her sons who look “gori,” or truthful, though he agreed that “this thinking needs to change.”

“It’s somehow ingrained in our minds,” mentioned Mr. Verma, who lives within the northern Indian state of Punjab. “When you have a dark-skinned daughter-in-law, people talk behind your back. They ask what wrong had we committed in our previous life.”

A 2017 examine of 1,992 Indians discovered that greater than half mentioned they have been influenced by TV commercials to seem lighter-skinned.