New Delhi: Former Miss World Diana Hayden slammed Tripura CM Biplob Kumar Deb for casting aspersions on the global beauty pageant and for questioning her 1997 win on the world stage. A prompt apology followed.
Deb, who is fast becoming known more for his controversial remarks than his political work, had said on Thursday that he could not understand the 'process of judging the 1997 Miss World pageant' in which Hayden had been crowned. "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," he had said before terming international pageants as a farce.
The criticism that followed was unforgiving and quite relentless - capped by a reaction from Hayden herself. "It's a pity and shame that when you win the biggest and most respected beauty pageant in the world, you get criticised and put down as opposed to being appreciated and respected for bringing more accolades back home and further appreciation of our Indian brown exotic beauty. It's also hurtful," she had said in a statement late on Friday.
While many other noted film personalities joined Hayden and people at large in lambasting Deb, the Tripura CM - who had previously claimed internet existed during Mahabharata, issued an apology. "I was talking about how the handlooms of the state could be marketed well. If anybody is hurt or feeling defamed, I regret for this. I respect all women as my mother," he was quoted as saying by PTI.