Desi Talk - page 10

By a Staff Writer
T
hirty contestants participat-
ed in the Jewel of India
Pageant at The Shops at
Caesars Atlantic City March 2.
Contestants performing on stage,
after which they participated in
four different rounds - Indian
dress, evening gown, fitness wear
and finally the interview segment
Judges included Jitin
Hingorani, CEO of Jingo Media;
Nutan Kalamdani, founder and
managing director of Awesome
ITV; and Priya Saluja, founder of
Darpan Boutique. The evening
also showcased five South Asian
fashion designers –Wow by Juhi
Jagiasi, Tantra Fashions by Sarika
Jain, Prisha’s Collection by Sapna
Raj, Vastra by Suma Polepalli and
Ivanaa by Rekha Chopra.
Participants also attended
workshops held the previous day
March 1 at the La Renaissance
resort on Boardwalk and
Rainforest Café.Workshops
included guitar learning, fashion
law, anti-obesity awareness, act-
ing techniques, ramp walk, tennis
lessons and Bollywood dance.
Contestants also got a chance to
parade in the mall wearing
clothes form Cache at The Pier.
10
March 14, 2014
CITY VIEWS
– that’s all you need to know
Media India Series to be Launched for Image Makeover
By Sunil Adam
part from the oft- repeat-
ed “common interests”
and “shared values,” the
United States and India,
apparently have one more
thing in common: the
need for a periodic image
makeover. Five years ago, the U.S.
had to change its image from a
“bring it on” super power trigger-
happy to get the Mission
Accomplished. Now, it appears, as
if it has to change its image of a
self-doubting ex-sole Super Power
that can’t enforce the red lines it
draws itself.
Ten years ago India had gleeful-
ly and, perhaps even tauntingly,
changed its image – from that of
call-center heavy, backend-service
based economy into an Asian
powerhouse with growth rates
that made China turn at least yel-
low with envy. Five years later
India desperately wants to change
the discussion away from its sys-
temic crisis plagued by policy
indecision, economic stagnation,
political paralysis and social
breakdown. Not to mention satu-
rated news coverage of rapes at
every corner, misplaced domestic
maids and pulping Donigers.
To challenge the recent spate of
negative media coverage, the
Consul General of India in New
York Dnyaneshwar M. Mulay, has
decided to launch a lecture series
not-so-subtly titled, “Media India
2014-15.”
The monthly-series will feature
distinguished public intellectuals
who will speak on different issues
pertaining to India’s “global image,
identity, aspirations, roles and
projections,” according to a press
release issued by the consulate.
The first of the series will be held
on March 21 with author Suketu
Mehta who will speak on “India &
U.S.: Traffic of Ideas.”
Speaking to a handful of jour-
nalists at the consulate last week,
Mulay explained that the series is
primarily meant for “mainstream
American media, university stu-
dents, youth and second genera-
tion Indian-Americans.”While
organizing such lectures is not
new for the Indian consulate,
Mulay’s effort is novel in its objec-
tive and intended reach.
It is, of course, debatable if the
mainstream American media will
take its cues from such lectures, or
if the series can attract second
generation Indian-Americans,
who have so far shown remark-
able resilience in ignoring plat-
forms promoting parochial Indian
perspectives. But as Mulay con-
fessed, he’s not afraid of failure,
but only of not trying.
It is worth noting that the
nature and level of U.S. media
interest in all things India has
always depended on one quintes-
sentially American mantra: Follow
the money.
Between 1995 and 2005, cover-
age of India in the mainstream
media was both widespread and
positive, coinciding with corpo-
rate America’s optimism about
strategic and business ties with a
country that was estimated to
have 300 million middle class
consumers.
Over the past five years, howev-
er, the estimates were drastically
scaled down to match India’s
dwindling growth rates, as were
the expectations of economic mir-
acles and business opportunities
that India offered for American
corporations. Needless to say, the
media’s interest and perspective
took the same trajectory.
It has to be seen if academi-
cians like Jagdish Bhagwati of
Columbia, AshutoshVarshney of
Brown, Devesh Kapur of UPenn,
among others, that have been
tapped for the series, will change
the course of media coverage and
inspire a new generation of
Indophiles, as it were.
Consul General of India in New York Dnyaneshwar M. Mulay.
Contestants at the Jewel of India Pageant at
The Shops at Caesars Atlantic City March 2.
A
ilayas Quraishi
Jewel of Pageant Held in Atlantic City
Rajasthan
Association to
Hold Annual
Convention on
Long Island
By a Staff Writer
T
he Rajasthan
Association of North
America will host its
4th Annual Rajasthani
International Convention at
the Islandia Marriott Long
Island in North Island, N.Y.,
July 3 to 6. According to its
website, RANA was formed
for the purpose of bringing
all Rajasthanis on a single
platform, preserving the
Rajasthani culture and her-
itage and instilling Rajasthani
values amongst the younger
generation. RANA’s objectives
include performing charita-
ble activities in the areas of
education, healthcare and
social welfare; contributing
to the home state by promot-
ing economic and industrial
development; creating a
bond between Rajasthan (the
state) and Rajasthanis living
in North America.
The 2014 convention will
be convened by RANA
President Dr. Narendra
Hadpawat, along with
Naveen C. Shah, Dr. Shashi
Shah, Ravi Lashkery and
Animesh Goenka. The theme
of this year’s Convention is
Healthy and Literate
Rajasthan – focusing on
developing healthcare facili-
ties and promoting literacy in
the rural areas of Rajasthan,
according to the website.
The convention aims at
showcasing the grandeur and
glory of Rajasthan, while at
the same time presenting
seminars in business devel-
opment, education and
health awareness, travel and
tourism amongst others.
Delegates would also be
treated to delicacies from the
royal kitchens of Rajasthan as
well as a gala entertainment
evening featuring top
Bollywood artists, folk musi-
cians and dancers and a
hasya kavi sammelan. In
addition, there will be trade
shows, exhibitions and tradi-
tional handicrafts for viewing
and purchase.
Winners at Jewel of
India pageant
Mr. Jewel of India – Sunny Mann
Mr. South Asia Prince - Syed Khan
Miss Jewel of India – Priyanca Modi
Miss South Asia International
Trish Guduru
Miss India International
Shruti Thakkar
Miss Indian Princess USA
Mansee Sangani
Miss Teen Jewel of India
Saloni Sawant
Miss Teen India International
Aarti Gupta
Mrs. Jewel of India
Shweta Arya Seth
Little Princess – Sonia Virmani
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