Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new
- Albert Einstein
To pin the blame on Sushmita Sen the Urvashi debacle underscores the lack of recognition that I Am She is an extremely young organization. It is entirely understandable that Indian pageant fans would like to find a scapegoat to explain the underperformance of India - labelled as a beauty superpower - in a pageant like Miss Universe. The frustation is stemmed from the fact that semis drought seems to be in for a long haul. And it was not just about the inability of I Am She to propel their candidate to the semis. It was about a string of failures that dogged the organization from the very start.
In 2010, the core mistake was betting on the interview skills of Ushoshi Sengupta while almost everyone knew that such prowess is so 1990s. Then in 2011, Vasuki Sunkavalli had to endure the humiliation of losing her National Costume to Brazilian customs which no doubt reflects the logistical ignorance of I Am She.
This year, the age issue of Urvashi does not concretely suggest that Sushmita and I Am She are incompetent. These strings of mistakes are but birth pains of a neophyte national pageant and there is a learning curve to take into account. It would be disingenuous for anyone to suggest that Sushmita should work to be in par with Osmel Sousa or say Stella Marquez de Araneta. Even these National Directors stumble from time to time and they are centuries ahead when it comes to handling national pageants.
Of course, with mistakes comes lessons. Indian pageant fans no doubt wants India to be competitive once again at Miss Universe but it will take time. I Am She is a three year old pageant. There more mistakes down the road before the ultimate goal will be achieved. The focus now should be supporting the new Miss Universe India 2012 Shilpa Singh (photo) and stop the finger pointing. The recipe for success is that mistakes shall be used in learning not in infighting.