Human Writes: In Malaya, indentured plantation labour was practically slavery

Indian workers newly arrived in Trinidad in 1897 under the indentured labour system. — Public domain

For as long as I can remember, in every circle, in every country that I’ve lived in, there was always a preference for – or even deference to – lighter-coloured skin. Put it this way, there weren’t any circles where people wanted to have darker skin.

The desire for fairer skin still persists everywhere. Despite health concerns, there is a massive global multibillion-dollar market for skin whitening products – and it’s big in Asia. An Indian woman’s eligibility for marriage can depend on the exact hue of brown skin.

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