The global icon, Priyanka Chopra, was not the obvious choice for the Miss India title 18 years ago as one of the jury members felt her complexion was “too dark”, according to the book Priyanka Chopra: The Incredible Story of a Global Bollywood Star.
According to one of the mentors of the contestants on the show Pradeep Guha, “Not everybody in the jury was initially in favour of her. One person mentioned she’s too dark,” he said without naming the jury member.
“I said, ‘Yaar come on — look at South American girls. They keep winning and some of them are pretty dark as are all the girls from Africa. So I said what are you talking about?’ I was always very certain about her and as I said this woman never made a mistake twice,” the mentor is quoted in the biography.
Though Pradeep knew she would make it big as he said, “she kind of always improved on herself day on day. I knew that she would give in 200 per cent if she gets in.”
“I think she needed a little more confidence. I think she wasn’t quite sure initially whether this was the thing she wanted to do. She came in a bit tentatively. By the time the contest started, she seemed a lot more collected and definitely more confident of herself”, he added
Then the 17-year-old Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh won the title and emerged as the runner-up – Femina Miss India World 2000.