Most Hindus, ever since they are introduced to Gods and Goddesses get to see a defined image of them. Fair-skinned, exceptionally beautiful, decked up in fine clothes and dazzling jewelry, is what we see when we see an idol or image of a Hindu God or Goddess. In fact, even in their imagination, Hindus see their deities in this way, which of course is not wrong. But perhaps no one so far has imagined their Divine as dark-skinned.
This made Bharadwaj Sundar, co-founder of Chennai-based production house Slingshot Creations ponder if this kind of representation of Hindu Gods and Goddesses is out of their love for fair skin. He also wondered that some Gods like Rama and Krishna were sometimes depicted in blue skin but never brown. With this though in his mind, Sunder came up with the idea of asking the question that whether our Gods can be dark skinned.
Sundar joined hands with the other co-founder of Slingshot Creations and photographer Naresh Nil and dared to ask this question through a photo-series titled ‘Dark is Divine’. The series has seven pictures of Gods and Goddesses in a never seen before form- as dark-skinned individuals.
Talking about the photo-series, Sundar tells The New Indian Express:
Let me say upfront that we are not atheists or want to make fun of our gods in anyway. This is just an attempt to show that even dark is beautiful and there’s nothing to be ashamed of being dark skinned.
The duo has graduated from Aloha Arts and Science College and run Slingshot Creations. They have a passion for social issues and try to deal with them whenever possible. Sundar further says:
We are into advertising and often do product shoots. But working on such concepts satisfies our creative juice…plus, it’s also relaxing! It was just a sudden thought — Why in all portraits gods are shown as having white skin? There was no such research involved, as in I didn’t have top read scriptures or vedas. But we are so tuned in our minds that when we think of any god, we think of them as fair-skinned.
Sundar further added that all that they wanted to do was to look at the same Gods in a different way. The seven photos are of Lakshmi, Saraswathi, Durga, Shiva, Murugan (Aandiappan), Krishna and Sita with Luva-Kusha.
The photos were shared in a post on Facebook page Naresh Nil Photography and became extremely popular in no time. Take a look at the complete Facebook post below:
As social media users saw the Gods and Goddesses in a completely different avatar, they could not resist commenting on the pictures. Have a look at what they had to say:
Do you also think India is over-obsessed with fair complexion and this photo-series has the power to change that? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section!