Two down, one to go
The failure of India to make it to the semis of the three of the Big 4 pageant is already making the public worry. A leading English TV news program posed this question: "Are we not pretty anymore?" The question is absolutely a form of self-doubt. It is of course ridiculous but it is a sign that India is frustrated and at the same time unsure of what is happening.
What is even more ridiculous is the analysis of Kalpana Sharma published in The Hindu. Reading her words is probably best while listening of Jessie J's song - it's all about the money, money. Kalpana's analysis is dead wrong and one could only fear that millions of Indians could be sharing the opinions expressed in the article. The writer suggests that the victory of India in the 90s in the Miss World and Miss Universe pageants were just part of the grand conspiracy to penetrate the vast yet untapped cosmetic market of the country. More like suggesting that Sachin Tendulkar's runs are just meant to entice more people to drink Pepsi.
True, both cricket and beauty pageants are big businesses. But like cricket, winning in Miss Universe and Miss World require lots of practice, a steady hand and heart, and having positive characteristics like confidence. Sushmita Sen, Aishwarya Rai, Diana Hayden, Yukta Mookhey, Priyanka Chopra and Lara Dutta are all exceptional women who truly excelled in their fields. To simply reduce their achievements into something like a commercially laden hidden agenda is an affront to these women who gave honor to the country.
Maybe, the Indian press forgot that the current Miss Earth hails from India. Or maybe they forgot that in the 80s, India is barely on the radar of the beauty pageant world. The failure of India is largely due to the organizational failures of both I am She and Femina Miss. Do you think India will win the Cricket World Cup if the BCCI is dysfunctional?
What is unfortunate is that India failed to truly pinpoint the source of its woes. The Big 4 pageants are not just about prettiness. It is about talent, intelligence, confidence and a lot more. If India is unable to properly ascertain the illness of its beauty pageant world, then no medicine will be able to cure it.