By Sharanya Gopinathan
On April 18, he confidently asserted that the internet existed in the times of the Mahabharat, citing sources that said that the messenger Sanjaya was able to communicate what was happening on the battlefield to the blind king Dhritarashtra from very far away, and that such a feat would have been impossible to accomplish without the Internet.
Now, he’s set his sights elsewhere. Most particularly, on Aishwarya Rai, Diana Hayden, and beauty pageants in general.
Speaking at a day-long design workshop on handlooms and handicrafts at the Prajna Bhavan in Tripura, Deb said that he “failed to understand the process of judgement” that led to Diana Hayden being crowned Miss World in 1997. And when you look at the context he set up around this very random declaration, it becomes clear that he was dog-whistling that Hayden, being Christian, wasn’t the correct representative of Indian women.
“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,” said Deb.
Diana Hayden not an Indian beauty, Aishwarya Rai is: Tripura CM Biplab Deb being a) stupid, b) sexist and c) communal at the same time. https://t.co/Mi9TrFsoIn via @htTweets
— Kavita Krishnan (@kavita_krishnan) April 26, 2018
There’s a lot more that Deb doesn’t understand. He also seems to have a very distant and suspicious relationship with clothes, as evinced from another statement he made at the workshop. “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.”
Gosh, not fabric!
You almost feel bad for the good folks of Tripura, whose brand new Chief Minister’s head is full of beauty pageant winners from the 90s (when our man Biplab would have been about 26) and internet access in the times of Draupadi. Unfortunately, when he does get his head in the game, or at least in the present, the results aren’t that much better either.
On Wednesday, in response to Mamata Bannerjee making light of the BJP’s win in Tripura, Deb remarked, “The constitution treats all states as equal though some states are bigger in size. If I am six feet three inches tall and you are five feet, are you not a human being? I don’t think that way. Mamata didi should go to a temple and then get her brain examined at a hospital.”
What is the saying, pot, kettle, something something?
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