Dark Skin & Getting Married | Stand Up Comedy by Saikiran

I’m pretty busy these days with work but I have taken the early morning off to catch up on all of my extra-circulars (I’m trying to steel myself to work out in the mornings but that’s still a step too far).

This is an amazing clip by the comic Saikiran. He speaks truth to power and more tellingly the Casteocracy as a Dark Brahmin(?).

I liked his point about how there are 50 women to 100 men on Telugu Matrimonial.com

The NRIs take the top 20 women and then the other 20 are taken by the Two “Eyes” of India (IIT & IIM).

I usually don’t like Indian stand-up comics because they are riffs on Western comics (one could write whole books on the relationship between contemporary Indian culture and the West).

I like his authenticity very much and I found him hilarious; so did 8-9mm people.

In our last politics podcast there is definitely a trend among Indians to shake off Westernised identity (they tried hacking off the Saracenic one 70years ago to mixed success I still haven’t heard a popular Shuudh Hindi song yet) and go their own way in Modi’s India. This is a good example of cultural authenticity even if the language of choice is not. I don’t know the origins of stand-up comedy but it’s entirely appropriated dominated by the Anglo-Saxon West.

It’s very unlikely that he had more than a 1,000 geniune white Westerners see his video of 8+million views but even to reach maximum audience, effect and positioning he had to rely on English.

Finally he alludes to his grandmother who was not South Indian fair, not even North Indian fair but Afghanistani fair (albino).

He could  have just said Kashmiri fair. While her partner, Advocate Guruswamy, has height on her side; Ms. Katju immediately screams Srinagar and I’m not even familiar with the community. I find it interesting that the cast-iron Indian rules of hypergamy are even hardwired operate in a lesbian relationship; the lipstick is fair & demure, the chapstick is tall and dusky (I’m assuming their roles but it’s a sensible guess).

The idea of course is that more often than not, in a Hindu context (I used Hindu in an ethnographic not religious term), is that caste, colour and class are so tightly wedded together that the most angst is concentrated are in those who happen to have 2 out of 3 as in the case of Mr. Saikan.


27 thoughts on “Dark Skin & Getting Married | Stand Up Comedy by Saikiran”

      1. I don’t know who makes the rules but I’m pretty sure even shuddh Hindi has enough leeway to include some loan-words from different languages like English or Portuguese.
        In this case, a couple of words happen to be of Persian origin.

        I think you won’t get more than 60% of the meaning of the song.

        1. Lol Scorpo … you’re terrible at this, mate!

          I spotted 4 Persian words half way into the song already (galey, dil, havā, rāh).

          1. OK, claim withdrawn 🙂
            btw, gala and raah are attested in Prakrit. There could also be cognate of them in Persian. I need to get hold of a good etymological dictionary.

          2. gala is from Sanskrit (gal), gardan is from Persian.

            Realized that Punjabi ‘gal’ is probably from Sanskrit gal as well, but means something from the neck, instead of the neck itself.

  1. I think the representation of dark skinned people in Indian Media might be worse than the representation of the South Asians in American media (which is pretty bad).

    Why do you have to be fair to read the news, or to win Miss India, or to be an actor? Esp when your audience is mostly darker skinned.

    At least in the West, I think both the women I that picture would be considered more or less equally brown. I just code them both as brownz, and wouldn’t notice the skin color if you hadn’t mentioned it.

    Shout out to yo-yo honey singh ji for representing dark skin beauty as the prize in his music videos.

    1. “Why do you have to be fair to read the news, or to win Miss India, or to be an actor? Esp when your audience is mostly darker skinned.”

      Indians watch Bollywood because they can vicariously live through the protagonists. It’s aspirational, and most Indians aspire to be more fair skinned.

      America is a much better place for black Indians than India.

  2. I have been thinking about the homosexual condition since the dawn of time and that little picture at the end brings me to a watershed moment in my life: I think I now fully support legalisation of homosexual activity because it most certainly helps women – both straight and gay – from both the liberal and the religious viewpoints. Straight women because it at least makes some gay males go away from the pool of their potential mates saving them a lot of lifelong misery and heartbreak, especially in societies like India where divorce is strongly stigmatised. Gay women because that initial push of decriminalisation makes it infinitely more easy for them to try and assimilate themselves well into a moderately urban-liberal kind of milieu which is firstly and most importantly made easy by virtue of the lot reduced incidence of promiscuity within their community compared to that of gay men.

    There are the various different types of painful issues as perceived by (female) homosexuals related to decriminalisation-but-no-social-normalisation as fought by liberals, libertarians, conservative libertarians, exclusionists, assimilationists, whatever, whatever but probably most gay people (gay men most likely definitely) are not even that intelligent/intellectually disciplined to think of these things (I have read somewhere that the average IQ of gay men is quite lower than the average IQ of straight men, but I don’t know if that is correct). And we’ll see as time goes on if complete normalisation is feasible for gay women.

    And all the above talk about normalisation is majorly concerning some kind of an assimilation into an acceptable upper/upper-middle-class liberal milieu only, and not religion at all. The latter is impossible. In our context, Hinduism is especially exclusionary in a very natural manner and can never assimilate these types of individuals. It does not have problem with gays/lesbians living in the world (of course because Ahimsa is one of the major pillars of Hinduism) but they have to be outcasted for the well-being of the more healthier parts of Hindu society (standard Hindu view).

    My angst at a certain point in the past majorly has arisen because of the possible dismantling of liberal enclaves located in various parts of the world if tendency to hedonism that is innate to many gay men is condoned or okayed. One logical way for liberals is to just okay all hedonism and make consent the only requirement to not just legal status but also assimilation into society but there is that other way to go the old-school individual rights (libertarian) way and support and promote scientific research aimed at culling predisposed-to-hedonism gay males while in womb in the (far) future. I take solace in the fact that this is indeed a possibility in the future but I have no clue what to do about the present. Liberals all over the world have very tough lives indeed. It is probably the case that gay males (I’m including weird Indian categories like MSM also in this) can never be assimilated into even a typical upper-middle-class-liberal society that is significantly less exclusionary than hardcore Hinduism since a lot of them can’t get rid of their promiscuity (men are inherently wretched and gayness compounds that even more). If us international liberal mafia get to somehow magically make it fully acceptable to be hedonistic and sexually promiscuous all over the world, then that’s a different matter. But for now, the decriminalisation of gay male sex is good definitely (however slightly, alas! Or my major assumption is wrong and gay males indeed still end up destroying lives of straight women in vast majority by entering into marriages with them, etc.) for straight women, so that needs to be supported by religious Hindus also, in my view.

    1. But then, there may of course be somewhat middle-ground-looking possibilities that can be achieved to civilise a typical male homosexual also other than the extremes of normalising his behaviour patterns completely or aborting him as fetus in womb, but I don’t know what they are.

      Also, the in-the-air impending troubles associated with loss of employment for a lot of poor people with the increased employment of advanced machinery and so on will definitely put liberals back to work on relatively more commonplace and enjoyable issues like those for a long time to come and probably the burden to face logical extremes of the liberal/libertarian thesis can be dropped again for the moment.

      Also, there is no logical necessity that religious Hindus need to support decriminalisation of homosexual activity between gay males with the goal of improving the lives of their straight daughters. If the conjectures of writers on Quora like the radical Vaishnava-Shakta Kamakala Bhattacharya are to be believed, in olden days many Hindu gay men did not enter marriages with straight women, and she says they simply renounced the world and spent their lives doing penance but that seems unlikely seeing the typical gay male tendency to hyper-sexuality. But at any rate, the point is there was a possibility that even in olden days, gay men did not enter marriages with straight women even in spite of the lack of official legalisation of their sexual activities. But all the above said, the modern world is different and world-renunciation is not a viable option in the minds of many observant Hindus themselves. I don’t know how Hindus should think about this (yes, I’m a very controlling liberal lol) but for me the immediate goal for Hindus any way seems to be to improve the lives of straight women as much as possible in this regard.

  3. also, the guy is not that dark-skinned even? perhaps on the dark side of average. wonder what it’s like to be genuinely dark-skinned…

    1. There is at least one great stand-up comic guy who looks stereotypically Indian-dark with stereotypical Indian features. His name is Zakir Khan and I witnessed his act on Youtube once on Kaneez Surka’s channel. For some reason, I have developed a sudden great awe for the Mumbai-Bengaluru (or Noida-Bengaluru instead?) axis elite CS-background audience of these stand up acts lol.

  4. Zach’s inspired identity defense is a bit marred by his mispronouncing the comedian’s name. 🙂

  5. Women in India are as dark skinned as men. What this guy is really saying is “why dont these light skinned women like me’.

    The new generation of Indian actors like Vicky Kaushal and Ranveer Singh are noticeably darker than earlier generations. If we think about it, even going back a couple of decades, the genuine newcomer to Hindi cinema, Shah Rukh Khan is quite darker than his predecessors Amitabh and Dilip.

    1. “What this guy is really saying is ‘why dont these light skinned women like me’.”

      Lol. Completely agree. Liberal elite folks who complain about colourism are usually pretty colourist themselves.

      Also, any guy who complains like this has already lost the game. Go out and hit the gym. Develop a personality. Stop cribbing about stuff you can’t change.
      (Too much to ask of a comedian)

      1. So this is a probably good game plan and most people are nowhere close to achieving their potential in any area of life.

        But why does this have to he seperate from striving for a more fair society?

        I get that virtue signaling, hypocrisy etc. are problems among some progressives. I think some progressive complaints about an unfair playing field have merit.

        I feel like I am one of the most SJW commentators on this blog when in real life I am probably conservative / libertarian compared to most of the people I know.

        1. “But why does this have to he seperate from striving for a more fair society?”

          I do not think complaining is very useful if you really intend to bring about a fairer society.

          There are some areas where the unfairness of the society can be pretty directly measured.
          Even though I am a libertarian types, I don’t grudge people when they ask for reservations or other forms of economic affirmative action like MNREGA.
          (I still do not agree that it’s the right way to go about)

          But for most things that are ‘social’ in nature, complaining doesn’t solve problems and might even be counter-productive.

          A dark skinned guy who is comfortable in his skin, exudes confidence, and charms women is much more likely to change attitudes than someone who cribs about his condition. The latter is just reinforcing any loser stereotypes that might be associated with him.

  6. Of interest: There is an instagram trend of “blackfishing” where white girls take pills to help them tan unnaturally dark.
    Ariana grande’s has been accused of this recently, but there are Instagram models who take it to extremes. I came accross a dark skinned South Asian model who was complaining that it was stealing modeling jobs from brown women.


    I am not sure what to make of it tbh. I think I am getting old.

    1. Actually indiot no. Beloved father feet are pure white. JatWhite. Dhanvad.
      My best Jatti friend is completely JatWhite in colouration. Alabaster Ecru r gradations of White.
      This is not: ?
      Prabhu of PaleArctic Realms of Supernal Ever~increasing Wondrous Bliss. All hail Chakravartin iNk of Paxtania Hegemonies…?

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