Should Miss India adopt state pageants system like USA?

How about having state pageants for Miss India?

Star Miss India
In 1990s, there was a pageant named Star Miss India which followed the state pageant concept. It went off air within an year or two.

Miss India pageants showed total failure in 2015 at Miss Universe and Miss World.  It is the first year after a long time when India clapped at Miss World, Miss Universe, Miss Earth and Miss International in the same year.  Suggestions for improvement are pouring in from all directions and the organizers might benefit if they are open to those.  Many people are saying that Femina team should adopt the state pageants method.  In other words, they should hold pageants in all states of the country and have representatives from each of them.  There will be Miss Gujarat, Miss Kerala, Miss West Bengal, Miss Punjab, Miss Mizoram, etc. competing for the big title – Miss India.  Of course, this will be very new for Miss India team but it is definitely an interesting idea.

Firstly let us examine why there can be resistance to this idea of state-pageants.  One big reason is administrative challenges.  Pulling off something like this can need big resources.  It can be costly.  It can be time-consuming.  Also, some regions have strong concentration of girls who are interested in pageants while in many regions there would be hardly few applicants.  Generally the girls of metropolitan cities are more interested in pageants, while the ones living in some parts of India can not even consider the idea of pageants due to the local cultural scenarios.  Having states competing in such a popular event every year can promote the idea of regionalism, rather than uniting the states.  Also, if a girl does not win the state pageant, she cannot compete for Miss India even if she is better than most of the other state pageant winners and this is a little awkward as well as unfair.  In such scenario, just like Miss USA, perhaps it would only make sense to have 1 winner and not send runner-ups to international pageants, unlike recent years.  Thus, there are definitely some valid reasons why this idea may meet with resistance from many involved in pageant management.

Miss India 2006
In 2006, Natasha Suri and Amruta Patki among Top 3 winners were both from Maharashtra. If the state pageants system was followed then, one of them would not have made it to the list of contestants for Miss India!

Now let us look at reasons why this can be a good idea.  First and foremost, it would be SO MUCH FUN to see a pageant with state sashes!  There will be representation from all corners of India.  Gradually even girls from rural and remote areas will start participating more in pageants.  The set of contestants will be truly diverse.  In a country with such high population, such system makes sense.  Since there would be girls from each state, viewership may increase.  If they have an audience vote in the show, the pageant can make good money too.  Since the girls will compete in state pageants before competing in national pageant, they will be more prepared and polished.  In the long run, this can flourish into big businesses even at state levels, just like it is happening in USA right now.  By having state winners, they will be creating more celebrities and paving paths of success for more and more girls every year.  Overall the Miss India brand will become way more powerful than it is right now.  It is like a tree spreading it’s roots deeper in the ground.

Thus, the idea of having state pageants has it’s own merits and limitations.  We would still suggest Miss India team to try it till some extent.  Perhaps they can call girls from all corners in final auditions and select one girl from each state or territory.  Then they can designate these girls as the state representatives (e.g. Miss Punjab, Miss Karnataka, etc.).  They compete in Femina Miss India and the winner goes to Miss World.  It would be quite interesting to see how the pageant turns out.  For sure, it will be better than how things have been happening in recent years.

Image Credits: Tribune India, Tumblr, preetlari