Over two decades later, Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb wonders how Diana Hayden bagged the Miss World crown in 1997. He reportedly said at an event in Agartala that international beauty contests were a joke and that he failed to understand the judging process. “We see women as goddess Laxmi and Saraswati. Aishwarya Rai represents the Indian women. She became the Miss World (1994) and that’s all right. But I do not understand the beauty of Diana Hayden,” he said.

Diana has issued a statement saying she is proud of her exotic brown colour. “With regards to me winning the Miss World, it’s a pity and shame that when you win the biggest beauty pageant in the world, you get criticised.” The debate, she felt, highlighted a larger problem in India, that of a fairness bias. She wondered why the CM had compared her to Aishwarya and not Priyanka Chopra or Manushi Chhillar.