Kiwi-Indian beauty queen accused of not looking Indian enough to win pageant

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

WELLINGTON - After the Indian hate slur controversy over TVNZ host Paul Henry’s ‘racist’ comments, Indians in New Zealand have now slammed a blonde, blue-eyed woman who won a Miss IndiaNZ beauty contest, accusing her of not looking Indian enough to win the pageant.

According to the New Zealand Herald 21-year-old Jacinta Lal was scorned and has been the subject of complaints to organisers from Indian spectators who, she says, are no better than TV presenter Paul Henry.

Ms Lal, daughter of a Fiji Indian father and a New Zealander mother, won the contest in Wellington in April this year, but the Indian community has questioned her eligibility only after the Henry incident.

Festival organiser Dharmesh Parikh said he had received complaints questioning Lal’s eligibility to be in the pageant.

The paper quoted Lal, as saying that she heard about their reaction but claimed that: “Just because some narrow-minded people make a comment like that we can’t assume that all Indians think the same way.eanwhile, Lal’s supporters have expressed their disappointment over the issue.

“It was just appalling, it was so disgraceful. We were just dumbfounded. The Indian community seem to have taken great offence to Henry’s comments but when I attended that beauty pageant, I saw huge offence coming back the other way,” one of the supporters said.

Auckland Indian Association present Harshad Patel said that after the Paul Henry controversy, it was disappointing to hear people had raised question about Lal’s eligibility. (ANI)

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