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Navneet Kaur Crowned
Miss India

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On Sunday, March 24, 2013 in Mumbai, India, Navneet Kaur Dhillon emerged victorious as Miss India 2013 at the gala held in the city's Yash Raj Studios.

Sobhita Dhulipala, a 20-year-old student in Mumbai, won first runner up and actress Zoya Afroz (18) from Lucknow in the state of Uttar Pradesh was awarded second runner up.

This year was the 50th anniversary of the competition, lending added weight to the title for Navneet Kaur, the 20-year-old daughter of a Sikh army officer from Patiala in the state of Punjab and media student at Punjabi University.

The limelight is not new for Navneet Kaur who has won a string of awards on her way to Mumbai. She will go on to represent India at the next Miss World contest.

The road to Mumbai was not easy. After auditions were held in Goa, Pune, Calcutta, Bangalore, Indore, Chandigarh and Delhi, 23 women were chosen to compete in the widely televised show.

Conversation about this article

1: N Singh (Canada), March 26, 2013, 7:50 AM.

Fantastic! Congratulations! What an attractive young lady. We need all sorts of young Sikhs to represent us in all arenas so we can shine brightly across the world stage.

2: Gulbadan Kaur (Canada), March 26, 2013, 4:16 PM.

Sikhi puts emphasis on inner beauty, and cultivating and beautifying our soul, not our outer body, which one day will go back to dust. I think an emphasis on appearance is the exact opposite of what a Sikh woman or man should be focusing on.

3: Iqbal Singh Bhan (Canton, Michigan, USA), March 26, 2013, 5:38 PM.

Great achievement for a young Sardarni. We are proud of you, Navneet. Good luck for the next competition.

4: Channi Kaur (Oregon, USA), March 26, 2013, 6:26 PM.

Gulbadan ji: You got it right in the beginning, and then, inexplicably, you wandered away from what you had stated. It's absolutely true, that the EMPHASIS in Sikhi is on inner beauty, but Sikhi never says that the outer body is to be neglected or denigrated. In fact, the opposite. This week we celebrate Hola - a Guru-given celebration of the physical and the worldly. That is, one can keep one's emphasis on one's priorities, while also pursuing all the other things in life we need to cultivate and nurture. If anything, Sikhi is both special and unique in the way it encourages us to celebrate both our inner and outer beauty. I laud Navneet's success ... may she go far in all her endeavors.

5: Jasjeet Kaur (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), March 26, 2013, 6:45 PM.

Dear Gulbadan ji: I believe it is incumbent on us Sikh women to look as smart and beautiful as possible while following all the guidelines of the maryada. There is no merit, no brownie points in Sikhi, for neglecting your outward appearance or for dressing down, no matter how religious you are. All the Sikhs, male and female, that I admire are solid Sikhs and it is reflected automatically in their physical beauty and in the way they dress up and carry themselves. I am not impressed -- no one should be! -- by those amongst us who dress shabbily or do not look after their outward appearance. Here's what I would aspire for, and I'd want my daughters to do so as well: to be well grounded in Sikhi ... AND look as gorgeous as Navneet Kaur!

6: Gurteg Singh (New York, USA), March 27, 2013, 3:36 PM.

Jaspreet Kaur is right BUT sadly most of these girls who go into the world of glamour, modeling and worst of all, Bollywood, are rarely ever grounded in Sikhi. You have to only Google the names of Poonam, Simran, Charmy Kaur or Neha Dhupia, etc., etc., to come with the images and videos of the most disgusting and low life acts that these women are forced to perform for the sake of money and a fleeting chance for fame. To put it mildly - like most women who enter this profession, they are used, abused and ultimately discarded when they their sex appeal fades.

7: Sunny Grewal (Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada), March 27, 2013, 3:38 PM.

I've noticed that a lot of young women who are successful in the entertainment industry seem to come from military family backgrounds. Interesting.

8: Gulbadan Kaur (Canada), March 27, 2013, 4:13 PM.

Dear Jasjeet Bhen ji: I agree that as Sikhs we should be fit and presentable at all times, but as you said ... following the guidelines of the maryada.

9: Hari Singh (Kalala, Barnala, Punjab), March 27, 2013, 7:49 PM.

We all have the right to have opinions about beauty pageants, but if we were to seek guidance from the Guru Granth Sahib, this is what I found: 1) O my body, why have you come into this world? What actions have you committed ... Says Nanak, this body is adorned and honoured when one's consciousness is focused on the True Guru [GGS:922]. 2) Without my Master, I will burn my silk and satin clothes in the fire. Even rolling in the dust, I look beautiful, O Nanak, if my Husband Lord is with me [GGS:1425]. 3) Farid, those eyes which have enticed the world, I have seen those eyes, once they could not endure even a bit of mascara, now the birds hatch their young in them.

10: Jasbeer Singh (India), March 28, 2013, 8:03 AM.

In Indian films, male Sikhs are presented negatively, and females you are already seeing in serials/films. We hardly see Sikh doctors, academics, lawyers, judges, entrepreneurs, etc in these films/serials. But on the global platform outside India, Sikhs are presented well! So which should be praised?

11: S S Singh (Dallas, Texas, USA), March 28, 2013, 7:18 PM.

Nobody is asking Sikhs to behave like the Taliban, but as stated by Sardar Gurteg Singh ji, the end result for the girls who choose this path is usually not very wholesome. In an interview, Navneet has already said that she wants to go to Bollywood and would like to do the roles like Vidya Balan in "Dirty Picture". So are we supposed to cheer up for this Sikh girl or face the fact that our most precious wealth - our women and specially the most successful and beautiful ones - are being taken away by others. The bitter truth which no one wants to say is, that there are grave consequences for being politically, economically, culturally and military enslaved.

12: Manjit Kaur (Edinburgh, Scotland), March 30, 2013, 4:34 AM.

To Gurteg Singh, Gulbadan Kaur, S S Singh, et al, and their comments above: Your words would have carried some weight and credibility, had you shown the same eagerness, enthusiasm, and aggressiveness in pursuing the Sikh males who have gone to Bollywood and left Sikhi by the wayside! Correct the bearings of the males first and foremost, then the females will follow!

13: Manpreet Singh (Hyderabad, India), April 01, 2013, 2:21 AM.

Not sure what kind of message this will send to other readers. Well, everybody knows that women are treated equally in Sikhism (theoretically ... and, to an extent, practically ... we are far ahead of any other religion which exists in India or elsewhere when it comes to treating women equally). Those who don't agree better check Hindu families where women are treated like nothing but another article in the house. Just like another household item! In Muslim families they are not even allowed to come out of the home without burqa. And not allowed to move around freely. Jains/Marwaris: we all know they have to wear long ghunghats/veils (watch Indian daily soaps?). But, back to the Sikh community: we need to work hard on the messages being imparted to our children by our mothers ... either directly or through example. Our future depends on it! As far as this article is concerned ... I congratulate Navneet Kaur on her accomplishment. God bless her!

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