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It seems to be a tradition of sorts with Indian kids winning the Scripps National Spelling Bee for 13 years in a row. This year, Ananya Vinay won the competition, which saw 11 million youngsters between the age group of six to 15 years participate from all parts of United States.
She correctly spelt the word 'marocain', a dress fabric made of silk or wool or both and took home $40,000 cash prize which she plans to use for her future education. However, in a deviation from tradition, instead of getting accolades for her win, Ananya’svictory made news for a cringe-worthy CNN interview.
After her win, Ananya was invited to CNN for an interview by anchors Alisyn Camerota and Chris Cuomo. Towards the end of the interview,the hosts asked her to spell the word "covfefe", the Trump typo that took social media by storm. Like a true spelling bee champion, Ananya asked the definition of ‘covfefe’, its language of origin, and if there were any alternate pronunciation for it. She finally spelt it ‘cofefe’.
Camerota then told Ananya the correct spelling was ‘covfefe’ and added, “It’s a nonsense word. So, we’re not sure that its root is actually in Sanskrit, which is what you’re probably, uh, used to using, so, I don’t know. Anyway.” Co-host Cuomo immediately congratulated Ananya for doing a great job. However, netizens were quick to criticise CNN and its hosts for assuming that Vinay would know Sanskrit, some calling her comment racist and others expressing disbelief that she would make such an assumption just because Vinay is of Indian-origin heritage.
And while the issue may seem trivial to many, the patronising comment with its veiled racism has offended millions of viewers across the world. What do you think of it?
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