India’s Manushi Chhillar, center reacts at the beauty pageant where she is crowned Miss World in Sanya in southern China’s Hainan province, Nov. 18. (Press Trust of India)
Newly-crowned Miss World Manushi Chhillar said, Nov. 20, she is too busy enjoying her success as a beauty queen to be upset over Congress leader Shashi Tharoor’s pun on her surname, which translates into “loose change” in colloquial Hindi.
Manushi’s win at the Miss World pageant ended India’s 17-year-long dry spell at the coveted event.
“A girl who has just won the World isn’t going to be upset over a tongue-in-cheek remark. ‘Chillar’ talk is just small change – let’s not forget the ‘chill’ within Chhillar,’ Manushi, the sixth Indian to win the title, tweeted.
The Congress Member of Parliament had played on her name in a tweet, Nov. 19.
“What a mistake to demonetize our currency! BJP should have realized that Indian cash dominates the globe: look, even our Chhillar has become Miss World,” Tharoor had said.
The former minister’s attempt to attack the Center over demonetization using Manushi’s surname did not go down well with the social media.
However, Vineet Jain, MD, Times Group, the organization behind the India chapter of the pageant, took to the microblogging site to say that Tharoor’s comment was not offensive.
“I saw @ShashiTharoor tweet regarding @ManushiChhillar. I wasn’t offended even though she is a Times girl. We need to learn to be more TOLERANT towards light hearted HUMOR,” he wrote.
Manushi seconded Jain and tweeted, “Exactly @vineetjaintimes agree with you on this.”
After his comment triggered a heavy backlash, Tharoor apologized on Twitter, stressing he meant no offence to Manushi.
“Guess the pun IS the lowest form of humor, and the bilingual pun lower still! Apologies to the many who seem to have been righteously offended by a light-hearted tweet today.
“Certainly no offence was meant to a bright young girl whose answer I’ve separately praised. Please: Chill!” he wrote.