A recently released (August 3) promotional video of a Miss Earth Bangladesh participant named Yasodhra Chakma has enraged the Bangladeshi Chakma community on Facebook. In the viral video, released on the official Facebook page of the pageant, Yasodhra claimed that the Chakma community is a matriarchal society.
Yet, in reality, they are a patrilineal society, where authority and kinship are passed on through patrilineal descent. This spread of misinformation about the indigenous community on an international beauty pageant platform has enraged the Bangladeshi Chakma community.
The promotional video featuring Yasodhra Chakma instantly went viral. People started criticising and trolling her for sharing misinformation about her own community.
Members of Bangladeshi indigenous communities mostly complained about how this will misrepresent the minorities of the country on a global stage.
Whereas, Bangali netizens mostly criticised why a person like Yasodhra Chakma should be sent to an international pageant representing Bangladesh who does not even properly know about her own community.
Some netizens clarified that the Garo, Khasi and Jaintia have matriarchal societies in Bangladesh.
Some trolls and memes on Facebook and TikTok were not very critical of her and made derogatory, sexist comments which can be considered as cyberbullying and sexual harassment.
Yasodhra, who just completed her higher secondary education, quickly took to her personal Facebook page and posted an apology and clarification statement video where she stated that her “nervousness caused the unfortunate mistake.”
This statement was also highly criticised by Bangladeshi netizens. She was being compared to Doctor Apana Chakma who was a fan favourite finalist of Miss Universe Bangladesh 2020 and was awarded the Miss Shining Star title.
Miss Earth Bangladesh authority has not made any comments on the issue at the time of writing this report.
Miss Earth Bangladesh winner will get to represent Bangladesh at Miss Earth, an annual international environmental-themed beauty pageant competition promoting environmental awareness, conservation, and social responsibility. The contest is the third largest beauty pageant in the world along with Miss World and Miss Universe.
The Miss Earth winner becomes the spokesperson for the Miss Earth Foundation, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and other environmental organizations like the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF).
Meghna Alam, a woman leadership trainer and the Founder and CEO of Ekottro Foundation, was officially announced as the winner of the first Miss Earth Bangladesh contest in 2020.