New Delhi | Jagran Trending Desk: Indian matrimonial website, Shaadi.com recently removed the skin colour filter from the website, after facing backlash from the users over racism.

According to a BBC report, the matrimonial website removed the skin colour filter after US-based Hetal Lakhani started an online petition against the website’s filter, which allowed users to search for options on the basis of skin colour. However, the website in its response said that it was a "product debris we missed removing" adding that the filter "was not serving any purpose".

The removal of the skin colour option came amid the raging debate over the racism and colourism due to which many Bollywood celebrities faced backlash on the internet for their endorsement of fairness creams. The heated debate also compelled Johnson & Johnson to stop selling its line of skin-whitening products in India.

"The obsession with fair skin is still notorious within South Asian communities," wrote Hetal Lakhani in her online petition, which has garnered over 1,600 signatures, according to the report.

"Shaadi.com has a colour filter that asks users to indicate the colour of their skin using descriptors like 'Fair', 'Wheatish', and 'Dark' and allows users the ability to search for potential partners on the basis of their skin colour," she wrote. "We demand that Shaadi.com must permanently remove its skin colour filter to prevent users from selectively searching for matches based on their preferred skin colour."

The petition against the filter came after Lakhani saw a Facebook post from Meghan Nagpal, who was using the matrimonial website. "I emailed them (Shaadi.com) and one representative said this is a filter required by most parents," Nagpal said as quoted by BBC.

After Meghan Nagpal’s post on complexion filter, Hetal Lakhani took the issue to a larger platform and started an online petition against it. "I wanted to tackle this in a way that could make a difference so I started a petition," said Lakhani.

"And it just took off like wildfire. Within 14 hours we had over 1,500 signatures. People were so glad we were raising the issue”, she added.

The debate over racism and colourism came to light once again after anti-racism protests were erupted across the United States after the death of African-American George Floyd, by the hands of a police officer, last month. 

Posted By: Talib Khan