The world's leading matrimonial website for Asians, Shaadi.com, was forced to remove a controversial skin colour search filter after facing massive backlash from people on social media over the years and an online petition against the feature.
The petition was started by Hetal Lakhani, a US-based woman of Indian origin, who told BBC that it received an overwhelming response, getting 1,500 signatures within 14 hours.
However, Twitter users are not satisfied with the removal of the skin tone filter and have demanded that the website remove the “caste” filter as well, which has remained a boiling topic. Many also took aim at the “gender” filter.
While we're at it, can we remove the caste filter too? Why not just find a life partner based on skills and virtues?— Anurag Singh Rana 🇮🇳 (@anuragsinghrana) June 24, 2020
But i could filter a girls hair colour or build? Whats the difference here people?? 🤦🏼♂️— Nick Wright (@NIXY1983) June 23, 2020
Has anyone looked at the cause of this in history? Lighter skin meant you weren’t laboring in the sun. Which meant you’re not a peasant, but the upper class. Classism has always been part of the human condition. THAT’S the underlying issues throughout history.— Leni (@Leni77832467) June 23, 2020
Others applauded the website for removing the filter and called it a small step towards tackling discrimination.
A small step in the right direction to tackling the "colourism" in south Asian communities— Zubair Munsif (@zebedee82) June 23, 2020
Giving clarification over the controversy, Shaadi.com said it was a "blind spot" which they missed and the feature has been removed, adding that the feature "doesn't have any implication on the matchmaking."