Mitali Nag, who hails from Nagpur and was earlier seen doing small roles in shows like ‘Mano Ya Na Mano’ and ‘Wanted-High Alert’ is not only effective before the camera but she can create magic with her voice as well. Her latest show ‘Afsar Bitiya’ on Zee TV is the talk of the town. Sandeep Hattangadi spoke to her about her latest show.
What is your character in the show?
I play the lead protagonist Krishna, who despite being a Block Development Officer has to face a lot of humiliation owing to her dark skin tone.
What is the message of the show?
The colour of one's skin can lead to a bias in India. The prejudices against people of darker skin tone and the preference for fair skin is very prominent here especially from the point of view of matrimony. Zee TV being a socially responsible channel has taken up the cause of ‘Colourism’ in its popular primetime show, ‘Afsar Bitiya’.
Have you gone through such bias personally?
To start with I wouldn’t have been in ‘Afsar Bitiya’ had I been fair. Having said that, even I had to face a lot of rejections in my career because of my dusky skin tone. Surviving in an entertainment industry which is obsessed with white skin is not easy. I was almost finalised for a role as a lead actress in a show but was rejected at the eleventh hour on grounds that a fair skinned actress would be better suited for the role. As a child I was conscious of my complexion but looking at super models like Naomi Cambell and Noyonika Chatterjee gave me hope to make a mark in an industry which is obsessed about looks and filled with bias. The credit goes to my parents who made me believe that beauty is skin deep.”
What is your current track in the show?
In the current track, Krishna’s dark complexion becomes a bone of contention for her in-laws and their relatives who disgrace and humiliate her openly for the same.
What is the USP of the show?
Skin colour discrimination is very rampant in our country. Most dark complexioned girls have felt humiliated at some point or the other in her life because of her skin colour. Every matrimonial site has advertisements for a ‘fair bride’. A dark complexioned girl undergoes tremendous emotional turmoil whereas her male counterpart leads a fairly easy life. We should always give respect to a girl/woman for what she is and not on the basis of the shade of her skin. In a country like India where fairness creams are flying off the shelves, it’s very difficult to get rid of this age old stigma.
I hope to work in films with directors like Mani Ratnam, Karan Johar, etc and also want to pursue my singing career as I participated in the reality show ‘X Factor’.
Any role models?
No. I prefer to have my own identity.