Mumbai, Nov 20: Newly-crowned Miss World Manushi Chillar said 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 yesterday. "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 had said. The former minister's attempt to attack the Centre over demonetisation using Manushi's surname did not go down well with the social media.
However, Vineet Jain, MD, Times Group, the organisation 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 HUMOUR," he wrote. Manushi seconded Jain and tweeted, "Exactly @vineetjaintimes agree with you on this".
After his comment triggered a heavy backlash, Tharoor apologised on Twitter, stressing he meant no offence to Manushi. "Guess the pun IS the lowest form of humour, 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.