Sushmita is celebrating her 26th year anniversary ob being crowned the Miss Universe title today. But, there was a time when she almost missed out on participating in the pageant as the organisers wanted Aishwarya Rai to go instead. An old interview of Sushmita Sen has been doing the rounds where she recalls how and why the organisers wanted to send Aishwarya ahead of her. Read on to know more about the incident.
According to an old interview of Sushmita Sen, the organisers suggested that Aishwarya Rai, who was the runner up of Miss India and had lost to Sushmita Sen that year, should go in her place to the Miss Universe competition in 1994. It was because Sushmita Sen had lost her passport just days before she was supposed to fly. However, the actor refused to give in and the rest, as they say, is history.
According to media reports, it had so happened that the actor had given her passport to Anupama Verma who was organising an event in Bangladesh and had needed Sushmita’s passport for ID verification. But, the former misplaced the passport just before Sushmita was about to leave for the Miss Universe pageant.
Even though Anupama Verma took full responsibility for the loss of the passport, there was nothing that could have been done. The Miss Universe Pageant was close, and the process to get a passport was lengthy. Even when the actor had informed the organisers about it, they wanted to send Aishwarya for the pageant, which angered Sushmita a lot.
Sushmita Sen, despite everything, refused to agree with the organisers. She cried in front of her father and told him that she would not settle for anything lesser than what is rightfully hers. Her father then spoke to the Union Minister [Late] Rajesh Pilot and he offered help. This ultimately led to Sushmita being able to fly to the Philippines, where the event was held.
As per the rules, whoever wins the Miss India title gets to contest for the Miss Universe title. Whoever is the runner up, goes on to compete in the Miss World contest. Sushmita Sen had won the Miss India Crown and Aishwarya was the runner up. Both of them went on and won the crown in their respective international pageants.
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