Congress leader Shashi Tharoor’s attempt at witticism backfired, after he tried to play on newly-crowned Miss World 2017 Manushi Chhillar’s surname, comparing it to ‘loose change’
Within a few hours, he took to Twitter again, to clarify that “no offence was meant” to Manushi and asked people to “chill”
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor’s attempt at witticism on Sunday backfired, after he tried to play on newly-crowned Miss World 2017 Manushi Chhillar’s surname, comparing it to ‘loose change’.
“What a mistake to demonetise our currency! BJP should have realised that Indian cash dominates the globe: look, even our Chhillar has become Miss World!,” Tharoor tweeted.
‘Chillar’ is the Hindi word for ‘loose change.’
Tharoor’s remark got him in trouble with the National Commission for Women, which accused him of degrading Manushi’s achievement, and demanded he apologise.
“@NCWIndia will summon @ShashiTharoor to commission on his derogatory and degrading tweet on our pride @ManushiChhillar She got fame and name to country by winning #MissWorld crown,” it added.
The former Union minister’s remark also came under fire from many on Twitter, including veteran actor Anupam Kher, who asked him why he had “fallen so low.”
While several Twitter users slammed his comments, one asked him why he was “demonatizing his own value!(sic).”
Another attempted to educate him about the community Manushi belongs to, informing him that it was a “brave community (Jats),” and asked him to refrain from making fun of it.
In what may be perceived as possible damage control, Tharoor later put out a tweet appreciative of Manushi.
“What a terrific answer by this bright young woman — a real credit to Indian values! #missworldmanushi,” he tweeted, referring to her answer in the final round of the competition.
When asked which profession in the world deserved the highest salary and why, Manushi had said, “Since I am very close to my mother, I believe a mother deserves the highest respect. When you talk about salary, I don’t think it’s just about cash, but it’s the love and respect you give to someone. I think my mom has always been my biggest inspiration; mothers sacrifice so much for their kids. It is certainly that one profession which deserves the highest salary, the highest respect and love.”
Within a few hours of his first tweet, Tharoor took to Twitter again, this time to clarify that “no offence was meant” to Manushi. He also asked people to “chill.”
“Guess the pun IS the lowest form of humour, & 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.