Washington: Describing the crowing of Nina Davuluri as Miss America as a proud moment for the Indian- Americans, a top US lawmaker has said that her feat was similar to the proud moment for Jews when Bess Myerson became the first woman of their community to win the title in 1945.
"I cannot be happier to congratulate Nina Davuluri on becoming the first person of Indian descent to be crowned Miss America," Congresswoman Grace Meng said.
Davuluri yesterday became the first Indian-American to have ever won the prestigious beauty pageant.
"This is a huge accomplishment not only for her but for the entire Indian-American community, and I am privileged to join all Indian-Americans in celebrating this outstanding milestone," she said.
"It draws parallels to the pride felt by the Jewish community when Bess Myerson became the first Jewish woman to win Miss America in 1945," Meng said.
Davuluri is a wonderful young woman who overcame obstacles to win this prestigious title through hard work and determination, added Meng, the first Asian-American Member of Congress from New York.
"I am proud to salute her, my fellow New Yorker, for all she has accomplished on her exceptional journey. I know that whether she pursues medicine or another career, she will always find success in life," Meng said.
The Indian-American community cheered the crowning of the 24-year-old Davuluri, also the first Indian Miss New York.
"Not only are we the professionals that we used to be known for -- doctors, pharmacists, lawyers, engineers -- from there we have moved to an entire breadth of the economy and the cultures of the United States of America," eminent Indian- American philanthropist Kiran Patel told the local Fox 13 in Tampa.
"I mean, they`re beautiful, smart; I was not surprised at the least. I thought it was just a matter of time," said Roshni Hannon, an executive producer at Fox 13 and a former Miss India America finalist.
"The one thing that I always told myself is that there is always gonna be one person out there that doesn`t like you," she said.
Meanwhile, Davuluri shrugged off the negative comments against her including those related to racism.
"I have to rise above that. I always viewed myself as first and foremost American," she said in her first news conference after winning the beauty pageant.
Appearing on Good Morning America - the popular morning show - she said how proud she was of her talent portion.
"It`s the first time Bollywood has ever been performed on the Miss America stage and it`s such an honour for myself, my family and the Indian community, as well," she said.