Imphal, Oct. 26: Miss Manipur beauty pageant has been banned by women’s organisations of the state, accusing the organisers and participants of commercialising the event, making it “sex-oriented” and turning women into “commodities”.
The ban was announced by 17 women’s organisations, which are in the forefront of fighting social evils and human rights violations, at a news conference here this afternoon.
Miss Manipur contest has always been plagued by controversies. After a gap of some years, the event returned last year.
This year’s Miss Manipur contest is being organised by Ibudhou Pakhangba Development Society, an Imphal-based NGO under the aegis of Miss Manipur Committee, promoting the theme “Beauty for Peace and Compassion”.
The organisers shortlisted 30 participants after a screening on October 10 in Imphal. The cash prizes are Rs 1,23,456, Rs 76,543 and Rs 54, 321 for the winner, first runner-up and second runner-up respectively.
The winners of the seven sub-titles will get cash reward of Rs 1,111 each.
The announcement of the ban came a day after the organisers selected winners of the seven sub-titles. The final results are, however, yet to be announced.
The women’s organisations took the decision to ban the contest after seeing photographs of the contestants during the screening, where most of the contestants allegedly wore revealing outfits.
“We decided to ban the contest because the contestants donned revealing and provocative dresses, which are not only alien to Manipuri culture, but also tarnish the image of Manipuri women,” Ibetombi Devi, a spokesperson for the organisations told the media.
Parliamentary secretary in-charge of minorities and other backward classes department, Amin Shah, is among the patrons of Miss Manipur contest.
Neither the organisers nor Shah were available for comment.