Miss World: The Forte of Indian Pageantry


India at Miss World is Invincible 

When one asks about the forte of Indian pageantry, the answer would definitely be Miss World. India has 23 placements at Miss World since its participation, producing five Miss World titleholders, four runner ups, 12 semi-finalists and numerous quarter-finalists.

The vivid triumph of India at Miss World began long back in 1962, when the Maharashtrian beauty, Ferial Karim gifted India with first semi-finalist placement at Miss World. Thereafter, yet again Maharashtra beauty, Reita Faria represented India at Miss World 1966, where she not only bagged Best Body Award and Best in Evening Dress Award for wearing Saree, but also become the first Asian and Indian to win the Miss World crown.

Years passed by and India’s brightest phase approached in 1994 making Aishwarya Rai the second Indian woman to win Miss World crown. Aishwarya was also later awarded with the title of “Most Successful Miss World” in 2014. Interestingly, India won the first Miss Universe crown in the same year,  through Sushmita Sen.

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Subsequently, the flowers of triumph and victory started falling on India’s veil like stars from the heaven. In 1997, Diana Hayden became the third Indian to wear the coveted crown of Miss World and in 1999, Yukta Mookhey brought India’s fourth Miss World crown home. In 2000, India had its first back to back win at Miss World through Priyanka Chopra, who is now a famous Bollywood and Hollywood personality. In 2000, India also won the Miss Universe crown through Lara Dutta.

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Now coming back to present time! India’s journey to Miss World in recent years has been incandescent and praiseworthy. Until 2015, India had been placing consecutively since four years, let’s have a look at the four radiant placements of India at Miss World since 2011 to 2014.

At Miss World 2011, Kanishtha Dhankhar wore the sash of India. As a modelesque personality, Kanishtha was exceptionally well at the Top Model Round, becoming the Top 10 finalist at the same. Kanishtha also bagged the Top 10 finalist position at pageant’s most integral segment, “Beauty with a Purpose”. On the coronation night, Kanishtha placed as Top 31 quarter-finalist. She is now an international model.

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2012 was the year when India reached closest to the Miss World crown after Parvathy Omanakuttan’s outstanding feat as first runner up at Miss World 2008. In 2012, Vanya Mishra was the flag bearer of India. When Vanya Mishra won the title of Femina Miss India 2008, she was not received warmly by her fans, but she shunned all the mouths when she proved her valour, charisma and sturdiness through her flawless performance at Miss World 2012.

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During the coronation night, Vanya emerged as the Beauty with a Purpose Award Winner and Multimedia Award Winner. She also performed in the Dances of the world on the famous Bollywood track, “Dil Cheez Kya Hai”. As an eloquent personality, Vanya was a Top 16 finalist in the significant closed door interview round. She was also amongst Top 40 of Miss World Beach Beauty and Top 47 of Miss World Top Model Rounds. She placed in Top 7 finalist spot.

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In Femina Miss India 2013, a soft, serene and vivacious beauty from Punjab was crowned. Navneet Kaur Dhillon represented India at Miss World 2013, bagging the Multimedia Award, securing a Top 10 position in Beauty with a Purpose and Top 20 spot at Interview Round.

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2014 was the most radiant year for India at Miss World. Koyal Rana, who had already won many teen pageants, was chosen as the representative of India at Miss World 2014. Not only she proved just to her fans’ expectations by placing at all the fastrack events except the Talent Round, but she also garnered support of fans across the globe.

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With her beautiful face, angelic performance and uphill struggle, Koyal made India proud by becoming the Top 11 finalist at Miss World 2014. She was also honored with the title of “Continental Queen of Asia” making India win the title for seventh time at Miss World. She bagged two most prestigious titles of the pageant namely, “Beauty with a Purpose” and “World Fashion Designer Dress”.

Koyal also performed during the Dances of the world at Aishwarya Rai’s famous Bollywood track, “Dola re Dola”. She was a Top 5 finalist at Miss World Beach Beauty, Top 5 finalist at Multimedia, Top 10 finalist at People’s Choice Award, Top 32 finalist at Sports round and Top 20 finalist at Top Model round.

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In the succeeding year, the very vibrant personality and a wonderfully amicable lady, Aditi Arya represented India at Miss World 2015. Aditi placed as a Top 5 finalist at Multimedia Award and People’s Choice Award, Top 10 finalist at World Fashion Designer Dress, Top 25 finalist at Beauty with a Purpose, Top 30 finalist at Miss World Talent and Top 30 at Miss World Top Model. Despite of cracking all the fastrack rounds, her exclusion in the quarter finals was very appalling. However, Aditi did her best to make India proud, and there are always shades of blue even in a bright sunny day!

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India’s performance at Miss World is always one to watch for and the Indian delegates at Miss World are one of their league! India is now on the verge of searching its next Femina Miss India, who shall represent India at Miss World 2016. The finale of Femina Miss India 2016 is slated to take place on 9th April 2016, at the end of which the reigning Miss World India, Aditi Arya will pass on her crown to her successor.

Do you think 2016 will again bring back India on the map of Miss World?

Vagisha Mishra

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