New Delhi: Amid global outrage against racial profiling and colourism around the globe following the death of George Floyd in USA, popular Indian matrimonial website shaadi.com faced backlash from netizens and online petitions as it had a feature on their website that allowed people to look for potential matches based on their skin colour.
The online petition to remove the complexion filter from shadi.com’s website was started by Hetal Lakhani from Dallas, USA. In a matter of hours, her petition received more than 1,500 signatures supporting her cause and sparked a conversation online about the controversial ‘skin colour filter’ of shaadi.com
In her online petition, Lakhani stated: “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. 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.”
Many netizens took cognizance of the online petition started by Lakhani and criticised shaadi.com for promoting discriminatory features on their matrimonial website. The petition forced the company to take down the feature overnight from their website.
Later, in a tweet by shaadi.com, the company stated that the feature or filter “doesn’t have any implication on the matchmaking”. The company however admitted that it was a “blind spot” and the feature has since been removed from the website.