Bollywood Presence in Miss India finals: A Boon or Bane?

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“It’s a Bollywood show!” That’s one very common accusation on Femina Miss India finale shows almost every year recently. There is just way too much of Bollywood and too little of traditional pageantry. However, there is always another side of the coin. There are reasons why so much presence of Bollywood is a good thing for the pageant.

  1. Viewership of the finals show is higher due to presence of Bollywood. Let’s face it, the number of pageant followers is not high in India. The country is not like the Philippines. On the other hand, Bollywood is perhaps the biggest passion in the country. In fact, Bollywood is more loved than cricket. It is the singular most popular source of entertainment in the country. For sure, the number of people watching the show would be lot higher if they see Bollywood celebrities performing in it during the promos.
  2. More attention from media. Since fans of pageants are not high in number in the country, why would media agencies and News channels cover the finals if BOllywood isn’t there?  Presence of Bollywood ensures media coverage.  The media channels publish about the performances, the red-carpet appearances of celebrities and along with it even about the winners.
  3. Higher viewership means more footage to the contestants. Yes, the girls may have less footage than say the contestants of pageants, say like Binibining Pilipinas. But still more number of people will notice them due to higher viewership, thanks to Bollywood.
  4. More opportunities for the contestants! Let’s face it. Many of the pageant aspirants, in many countries of the world, want to pursue career in showbiz after the pageant. With such high attention to and from Bollywood in the pageant, there is a chance that some contestants get noticed. They can take this opportunity and do some networking for themselves.
  5. More applications in the pageant! Since there is so much Bollywood presence in the finals and so many Miss India winners (and even contestants) have found place in Bollywood, the number of applicants for Miss India can get a boost. Otherwise pageantry is not popular in India, unlike the Philippines, Colombia or Venezuela.
  6. Bollywood means more sponsors! If there is Bollywood, it means more viewership and more sponsors. More sponsors means a better show. It means more money to groom the contestants. It means having more auditions and regional pageants.  It means better wardrobe for representatives of India in international pageants.  After all this is business! Profits are understandably important.

Thus, to conclude, Bollywood is for sure, without a doubt, and certainly a boon for the Miss India pageant.  At the same time, though Bollywood is an essential and inseparable component of Miss India, yet we cannot deny that balancing the air time of celebrity performances and contestants’ appearances shouldn’t harm because Indian television already has multiple Bollywood dedicated shows like Kapil sharma show, the dedicated award functions, etc.  So, the pageant needs to bring up something new to the tables.  It’s possible that Indian audiences likes these new changes, like it happened in 90s.  Don’t under-estimate the Indian viewers. 🙂