CARACAS: Venezuelan model Andrea Carolina Duarte Volweider slammed Narendra Modi led BJP Government of India on failure to maintain peace and harmony, rejecting scientific temper and reason, and thereby creating a climate of intolerance. She said all this at the Miss Venezuela beauty pageant contest held here recently.
In final round of the Top 5 contestants, where judges ask questions to each contestant, Ms. Andrea Duarte was asked, by Rahul Shrivastava (Ambassador of India to Venezuela), “What is the one thing that world needs right now?”
To this Miss Duerte categorically said, “We need world peace and tolerance toward fellow human beings.”
This answer is seen as an obvious, duh, attack at the Modi government. Because question was asked by an Indian. Because BJP is intolerance, intolerance is BJP. Because that is how it is. Because that is how it should be.
First mover on the most coveted question “Es la intolerancia en aumento en la India?” was CNN IBN. Alas, the IBN Anchor ended up asking English version “Is intolerance rising in India?” and had no Spanish translation ready in the excitement of breaking the news. The channel couldn’t get an exclusive bite from the model.
Times Now could get the Spanish translated question across, with Arnab Goswami asking “ES LA INTOLERANCIA EN AUMENTO EN LA INDIA?” However, it scared off Ms Duerte, who reportedly said, crying “Why this man shout?”
Learning from the mistakes of both the channels, NDTV’s Barkha Dutt reached the Venezuelan capital and could ask THE question in person. To which Ms. Duerte said to the effect “How do I know? I stay in Venezuela.” Interview ended with Barkha wondering only logically, “If Salman Rushdie can, why can’t she?”
Despite cracking the top 5 and saying what is the most essential words in times as such in which we live, Andrea Duerte did not win the Miss Venezuela Universo 2015 title. She did however win Mejores Vestidos de Gala (Best Evening Gowns) at the event. This led to a slight confusion when she was asked whether she would return the award to protest against rising intolerance in India. Confused Ms Duerte retorted, “Why I return my gown? To the designer? I pay full money.”
Although an unequivocal statement from Andrea remained elusive till reports last came in, the media was unanimous that she indeed had slammed the Modi government for rising intolerance in India.