While Indian-Americans form a big chunk in the immigrant population of the United States of America, it is not common to see Indian-American beauties in major national pageants of the country. There was a lot of controversy when Nina Davuluri won Miss America title in 2013. How the country perceives win of Indian-Americans in Miss USA pageant is something that is left to be seen. Let us have a look at some of the popular Indian-American delegates in Miss USA history.
Kalpana Pandit is a known personality in India as well as the United States of America. However, not many people know that she participated as Callie Pandit in Miss USA 1994. She was Miss Iowa. She could not make it to the Top 10.
The first placement of Indian-American beauty in Miss USA was achieved by pratima yarlagadda. she was Miss Indiana USA 1999. She was a big favorite to win the title of Miss USA 1999, but had to settle with a Top 10 placement (she was 6th). Her success was covered by Indian media.
The next popular Indian-American delegate in Miss USA was Emily Shah. New Jersey has huge Indian population and yet the first Indian-American to win the state title was in the year 2014 only. Emily Shah, as Miss New Jersey USA 2014, went on to make it to the Top 20 of Miss USA 2014.
The next and the most recent Indian-American to achieve success in Miss USA is Indian-born Chhavi Verg. As Miss New Jersey USA 2017, Chhavi was not shy in flaunting her Indian roots. In finals we saw video of Chhavi doing Indian dance in Indian attire. She even spoke fluent Hindi on the Miss USA stage. Her presence in Top 10, Top 5 and then Top 3 was not a surprise. In fact many wanted her to win because her final answer was good. However, she had to settle with 1st runner-up placement. Nevertheless it is a huge achievement. It is the highest an Indian American has placed in Miss USA! Her fans are hoping to see more of her, perhaps in Miss World America. Interestingly, in 2016 Shivali Patel, an Indian-American was 1st runner-up in Miss World America.
Let us hope to see soon an Indian-American winning Miss USA. It would be interesting to see how the country perceives the event.