Actor-model Harnaaz Sandhu’s Miss Universe victory has brought immense joy and pride to Indians across the globe, including Hindi film personalities and former beauty queens Sushmita Sen, Lara Dutta and Priyanka Chopra Jonas, who congratulated the winner for bringing home the crown after 21 years.

The Chandigarh-based model, who is pursuing her master’s degree in public administration, was adjudged Miss Universe 2021 at the 70th edition of the pageant in Eilat, Israel.

Only two Indians before Sandhu have won the title of Miss Universe – actors Sen in 1994 and Dutta in 2000. Sen, the first Indian to win the Miss Universe title, congratulated Sandhu on her win and called her ‘Har Hindustani Ki Naz’, translating as pride of every Indian.

The Aarya star said 21-year-old Sandhu was “destined” to bring back the crown home after the long wait of 21 years. “Soooooo proud of you! Congratulations @harnaazsandhu_03 Thank you for representing India so beautifully, for bringing back the Miss Universe Crown to India after 21 years (by a 21 year old, you were destined)” she wrote on Instagram.

Sen also said she hopes Sandhu enjoys “every moment of learning & sharing this incredible global platform @missuniverse will provide you.”

“May you reign supreme! My love & regards to your Maa & family… bohut bohut Mubarak,” she added.

Dutta congratulated Sandhu and welcomed her to the club. “Congratulations @HarnaazSandhu03!!!! Welcome to the club!!! We’ve waited 21 long years for this!!! You make us SO SO proud!!! A billion dreams come true!!! @MissDivaOrg @MissUniverse,” the actor-producer said.

Sharing similar sentiments, Chopra Jonas — who won the Miss World title in 2000 — tweeted, “And the New Miss Universe is… Miss India. Congratulations Harnaaz Sandhu… bringing the crown home after 21 years.”

Dia Mirza, the winner of the Miss Asia Pacific International 2000 crown, too expressed her excitement over Sandhu’s win. “Congratulations @HarnaazSandhu03 India is proud of you! #HarnaazSandhu #MissUniverse2021 Chak De Phatte!!! India Wins Miss Universe 21 years after @LaraDutta won Miss Universe in 2000,” the actor said in a tweet.

Bollywood star Kareena Kapoor Khan shared the video of Sandhu’s winning moment on her Instagram Stories and congratulated the newly crowned Miss Universe on the feat.

Actor Shilpa Shetty Kundra also lauded the model. “The crown has a new queen and it has come back home after 21 years. Many congratulations Harnaaz Sandhu, on being crowned the Miss Universe 2021 and making all of us proud. #ProudMoment,” she wrote.

Actor Raveena Tandon tweeted, “This is just fantastic! Congratulations #MissUniverse2021 #harnaazsandhu @HarnaazKaur #proudIndianwomen many congratulations.”

Actor-model Urvashi Rautela, who was one of the judges at the Miss Universe 2021 competition, said it was an emotional moment for her when Sandhu was announced as the winner.

“As a #MissUniverse Judge made the best decision. I can’t stop crying… We did it India,” Rautela wrote on Instagram as she shared the video of Sandhu being announced the winner.

At the Miss Universe 2021 ceremony, Paraguay’s Nadia Ferreira, 22, finished second, while South Africa’s Lalela Mswane, 24, came third.

The event was hosted by Steve Harvey and saw performances from American singer JoJo. The selection committee included Miss Universe India 2015 Rautela, Adamari Lopez, Adriana Lima, Cheslie Kryst, Iris Mittenaere, Lori Harvey, Marian Rivera and Rena Sofer. 

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