After his “Internet in the Mahabharata era” remark, Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb claimed that international beauty pageants were a farce and questioned the rationale behind crowning Diana Hayden “Miss World” 21 years ago.
The Bharatiya Janata Party leader, however, was all praise for Aishwarya Rai, who won the Miss World crown in 1994, saying she “represents the Indian women” in the true sense.
“Indian women did not use cosmetics in the old times. Indians did not use shampoo, they washed their hair with methi water and bathed with mud. These beauty pageant organisers are international marketing mafia, who spotted a huge market in the country. Today, there is a beauty parlour in every corner of the country,” he said.
Deb’s comments came days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi cautioned the BJP leaders to steer clear of controversies and not offer “masala” to the media by making irresponsible statements.
The Tripura chief minister also claimed that the international beauty contests were a farce as the results were all predetermined.
“Whoever contested the international beauty pageants won. For five consecutive years, we won the Miss World/Miss Universe awards. Diana Hayden won it too. Do you think she should have won the title?” Deb said.
Addressing a day-long design workshop on handlooms and handicrafts at the Prajna Bhavan, Deb spoke in a mixture of Bengali and Hindi: “Bitorko ho jayega... Aap kya bolte ho Biplab Deb?” (There will be a controversy. What are you saying Biplab Deb?)
“They make the girls walk with fabric on the ramps. Those who give the certificates are all international textile market mafia. They plan beforehand who will get the award and this is 100 per cent true,” the BJP leader said.
He said he failed to understand the “process of judgement” of the crowning of the Miss World contest in 1997, in which Diana Hayden had got the award.
“We see women as goddess Laxmi, Saraswati. Aishwarya Rai represents the Indian women. She became the Miss World and that’s all right. But I do not understand the beauty of Diana Hayden,” Deb, who became the chief minister last month, said.
“Why are there no more beauty pageant winners from India? They (the jury) have captured the market in the country and have gone elsewhere,” he claimed.
Earlier this month, Deb had claimed that Internet and satellite communication existed in the days of Mahabharata.
Shortly after his statement, Twitteratis slammed Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb.
Activist Kavita Krishnan termed his comments as “stupid, sexist and communal”.
“If Biplab Deb didn’t exist, a comic writer would have invented him,” columnist Salil Tripathi tweeted.
Delhi CM advisor Nagendar Sharma in a tweet said, “Though we are still in April, this most likely could qualify for the most ridiculous quote of 2018.”
A senior journalist tweeted, “One reason for which I should cheer the verdict in Tripura is that the nation found a new entertainer.”