August 11, 2010

Miss Nepal faces old nemesis Ms Maoist

Miss Nepal faces old nemesis Ms Maoist
Though struggling for more than a month to form a new government, Nepal’s Maoist party however indicated Wednesday that they remained unwavering about a secondary target: Miss Nepal.

Nepal’s oldest and most popular beauty pageant, to be held later this month, once again faces opposition from the Maoists’ women’s wing, which has kicked off a campaign to stop the contest.

The All Nepal Women’s Federation (Revolutionary) has issued a press statement, asking for public support to stop Miss Nepal 2010 and warning of a street protest.

“We oppose the attempt by multinational companies to use women as commodities in the name of beauty contests that ignore inner beauty and focus on external looks,” the statement by the federation chief and Maoist MP Jayapuri Gharti Magar said.

Calling beauty contests another form of exploitation of women by capitalists, the statement said it was urging the organizers to scrap the contest.

Begun in 1994, the Miss Nepal contest is organized by Hidden Treasure, an event management company, and its current main sponsor is Dabur Nepal.

The Maoist anger is attributed to the former guerrillas’ battle against Indian multinationals. While opposing Miss Nepal, they have however allowed dozens of other beauty pageants to be held without any murmur.

Last year, after the Maoists began opposing Miss Nepal, it was re-positioned as the Fem Miss Nepal pageant, dropping the well-known Dabur name and instead using Fem, makers of facial bleach, which Dabur had recently acquired.

This year, Dabur Nepal is sponsoring the Miss Nepal contest to highlight its Dabur Special hair oil.

Twenty-one contestants have already been shortlisted from the applicants and their training has started.

The winner will take part in the Miss World pageant in Vietnam and the first runner-up in the Miss Earth pageant in the Philippines.

While the contest was not held by the organizers in 2001 to mourn the massacre of Nepal’s royal family, it could not be held in 2006 due to political instability and in 2008 due to fierce opposition by the Maoists, who came to power after the elections in April.

Now, with Nepal having held four rounds of election to choose a new prime minister and not succeeding, the organizers are waiting for the fifth round Aug 18 to gauge if they can go ahead with the contest unhindered.

A Maoist victory will indicate possible cancellation of the event while if the Nepali Congress wins, the organizers will heave a sigh of relief.

Miss Nepal Website
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