India’s Harnaaz Sandhu creates history at Miss Universe 2021 after two decades of dry spell

13 Dec 2021 | Angelique Reyes

Yet again, one more Indian actress has re-created history by winning the Miss Universe title. Is this sheer coincidence or is the Miss Universe gene in the DNA of Indian actresses? One may never know but sure an amusing chance of event, all three women who have gone on to win the Miss Universe title from India are actors by profession.

The Miss Universe organization hosted the 70th edition of the international pageant on 12th December 2021 in Eilat, Israel where stunning delegates from all over the world competed for the coveted title. At the end of the event, Harnaaz Sandhu who hails from Chandigarh, India was crowned as Miss Universe 2021.  She succeeded Miss Universe 2020 Andrea Meza of Mexico for the title.


India’s Harnaaz Sandhu creates history at Miss Universe 2021 after two decades of dry spell


Creating history by winning the most prestigious beauty title of the world, Harnaaz broke the spell of 21 years for her country as Lara Dutta last won the crown of Miss Universe in year 2000. She became the third women to have achieved the massive feat after Sushmita Sen won Miss Universe 1994 and Lara replicated the feat over two decades ago.

Lara Dutta took to her social media to congratulate the titleholder and wished, “Congratulations Harnaaz Sandhu!!!! Welcome to the club!!! We’ve waited 21 long years for this!!! You make us SO SO proud!!! A billion dreams come true.” Lara is a pageant veteran and has won the Miss Intercontinental 1997 title as well apart from the Miss Universe crown. She has established herself as a strong actor in the Indian film industry since and has won several national awards for her work. She has enjoyed the sisterhood of winning the same title and has worked alongside her contemporary Sushmita Sen, Miss Universe 1994 in several movies.

In the last years, India has considerably improved its ranking at the international pageant as several candidates have gone on to have high placements. Vartika Singh was placed in the Top 20 in Miss Universe 2019 whereas Adline Castelino was placed as the 3rd runner-up at Miss Universe 2020. And now taking the internet by storm, the country of over a billion is all over social media celebrating their queen’s feat.


Miss Universe 2021 Winner Harnaaz Kaur Sandhu


Among congratulatory messages, there is also a twitter row going that’s breaking the internet where users have shown their disapproval for the question asked to Harnaaz in the Top 16. While other candidates spoke of their accomplishments, 21 year old Sandhu was asked to do her best animal impression by the host Steve Harvey. "I hear you do some pretty good animal impersonations. Let's hear your best one," quipped Harvey. “What a ridiculous first question was that? Miss India had so much more to say,” one of the twitter user wrote.

But she took it in her stride as the queen she is and confidently performed. "Oh my god, Steve, I was not expecting to do this on the world stage. I have to do this, I have no other option, brace yourself everyone," exclaimed the actor before letting out a few ‘meows’ while doing the impersonation of a cat.