‘Miss India contest’ missing its true ‘India’.

A heart felt letter from an ‘Indian’ to the Miss India Org. and the Indian & Global pageant fans.

'Miss India contest' missing  its true 'India'.

I may seem like I am being a complainant, but it’s a heart filled post from an ‘India from heart’, an ‘Indian’ pageant follower, an ‘Indian fan’.  I have been following pageants, and mostly Femina Miss India, since more than a decade now. I have to say, it’s a great show to portray the glamour, the fashion ,the young girls showing off their confidence, wit and modelling skills, a show to give a good kick-start for the young strong women of India into a harsh world of glamour industry, or say any other field they want to foray in.

Over the years, I have observed the pageant passing through the bumps, hick-ups and the glorious moments. But, what I have really missed watching all these past years, is the ‘INDIA’ in the ‘Miss India pageant’.  And I really feel sorry and embarrassed that an annual event which is actually supposed to showcase the ‘true India’ , its culture, its traditions, its beauty to the world through the eyes of these young modern women and through the medium of fashion and performing arts, has failed at accomplishing this.  All these years I have seen the term ‘India’ disappearing from the term ‘Miss India Contest’. From the songs, which are always taken from Bollywood to the dance and performances done on stage, where is the quintessential ‘India’ ?  Years have passed by and each year I have said to myself to have faith on the organising teams, that ‘Next year’ they will surely bring that ‘Indian’ component to the event. But again, each year I have faced the same disappointment.  What the event has turned over the years is into a ‘Miss Wanna be America’, with all the girls trying to fake American accent, wearing Western style outfits, grooving on Western moves and Western style music. Where is the quintessential ‘India’ ? It makes me feel am I really watching an Indian event or a western show with women wearing masks of Indian faces.

'Miss India contest' missing  its true 'India'.

I guess it was almost 5 years from now , that I last saw the finalists gracing Sarees on that stage, the only thing I could ever call ‘ Indian ‘ about the show. But then that too was scrapped off and replaced with God knows what kind of gowns !  I do understand, since the winners are supposed to compete internationally, they need to be given an international/Western like exposure. But aren’t these girls already given enough Western/international like exposure in our modern schooling and society. Yes, I do believe they need to be at par with the other international contestants to ace at their international platform, but isn’t it important to stick to your roots to stand out from the rest, so that you don’t end up losing your individuality ! After all she will be called ‘India’ internationally.

At the brink of Femina Miss India 2016, I have to ask this from the fans, the audience and the organisers, as an Indian from heart and mind, will I ever be able to say this in my subconscious mind that yes I just finished watching an ‘Indian’ event ?

– Letter & Sketches by Pageant Expert, Putki