Miss World 2024 Finale in Mumbai: Event Kicks Off with Enthusiastic Crowd, Amitabh Faces Financial Strain

After a hiatus of 27 years, the Miss World event is being organized in India once again. The finale of Miss World 2023 will be held this evening at the Jio World Convention Center in Mumbai. Sini Shetty, the winner of Femina Miss India 2022, will represent India in this prestigious event. Miss World is renowned as the most significant beauty pageant globally, though it often stirs controversies. 

During its last staging in India in 1996, Karnataka experienced widespread enthusiasm. Notably, in 1970, amid a program in Britain, 60 women threw rolled stockings in a race. As Miss World 2023 approaches its climax today, let’s explore how the competition commenced, the controversies it encountered, and India’s role in this event.

Controversy Surrounding the Inception of Miss World

The commencement of Miss World was driven by the need to gather crowds for the “Festival of Britain,” organized by the British government shortly after the Second World War. The responsibility for organizing this event fell upon London-based company Makkah Limited, led by their publicity director, Eric Morley, who sought to attract more audiences. Consequently, they decided to hold an international beauty pageant.

According to the American Public Broadcasting Service, the Miss World competition was first organized in 1951 by Britain. Eric Morley desired that models participating in the competition wear bikini attire. However, Ireland and Spain threatened to withdraw from the event if the dress code involved bikinis. As a compromise, the decision was made to have contestants wear one-piece bathing suits instead.

In 1951, when the event was first televised, it drew significant crowds. Consequently, it became an annual affair, growing in popularity with each passing year after its television debut.

This picture is from when Sweden's Kiki Hakansson won the first Miss World title in 1951.

Challenges and Controversies Surrounding Miss World: A Historical Overview

Miss World has been an iconic event globally, marked by beauty, talent, and controversies alike. Over the years, several incidents have shaped its narrative, reflecting societal norms, political landscapes, and individual ambitions.

India’s Tryst with Miss World Hosting

In 1991, India’s liberalization paved the way for rapid market growth. Major global brands sought to establish their businesses in India. This period saw the rise of Aishwarya Rai and Sushmita Sen, who won Miss World and Miss Universe titles in 1994, elevating the pageant’s popularity in India. In 1996, India hosted Miss World for the first time in Bangalore. The event highlighted the burgeoning influence of beauty pageants in India’s media and cultural landscape.

Amitabh Bachchan’s Financial Debacle and Miss World

In 1996, Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan ventured into business with ABCL, hoping for substantial returns. The company’s financial troubles culminated in Bachchan’s involvement in hosting Miss World. Expecting substantial profits, Bachchan’s ABCL faced financial losses, leading to personal financial strain and significant setbacks in his career.

After becoming Miss World in 1996, Greek model Irene Skliva became emotional

The Miss World Protest in Bangalore

In 1996, Miss World’s hosting in Bangalore sparked heated debates. Women’s rights activists protested, claiming beauty pageants demeaned women. Radhika Parameswaran, a prominent figure, threatened self-immolation if the event proceeded. Despite opposition, the pageant went ahead, but controversies surrounding its social implications lingered.

Protesters protesting the Miss World pageant in Bengaluru

Unprecedented Disqualification and Reinstatement

In 1970, Miss World witnessed unprecedented chaos when protestors disrupted the event by throwing flour bombs. The incident raised questions about the pageant’s cultural significance and its impact on women. Similarly, in 1974, Marjorie Wallace’s reign lasted only 104 days, marred by controversies and her unconventional behavior.

This is a photo of the protest inside the Albert Hall

Germany’s Miss World Recalls

Gabriela Brum, Miss World 1980, won the title only to renounce it 18 hours later. Her decision stemmed from personal reasons, including her boyfriend’s disapproval of her participation. The incident underscored the tensions between personal choices and societal expectations prevalent in beauty pageants.

Miss World, beyond its glitz and glamour, remains a reflection of evolving societal values and individual aspirations. As it continues to captivate audiences worldwide, it also navigates through controversies, shaping its legacy in the annals of beauty pageantry.

He even attempted suicide, but was saved by his sister

Sini Shetty: Representing India in Miss World 2023

Sini Shetty, born on August 2, 2001, in Mumbai, hails from Karnataka. Her father, Sadanand Shetty, is a hotel owner. Her brother, Shikin Shetty, currently studies in California. Sini has obtained a degree in accounting and finance and is currently pursuing the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) program. Besides her academic pursuits, she is also trained in Bharatanatyam, a classical Indian dance form. 

Sini’s journey to Miss World 2023 began when she won the Miss India title in 2022, leaving 31 competitors behind. On July 3, 2022, she clinched the Miss India World title, surpassing Rubal Shekhawat and Shainata Chauhan. In an interview with Divya Bhaskar, Sini’s mother, Hema Shetty, revealed that Sini had never aspired to enter the modeling world, preferring instead to seek secure employment. 

Sini Shetty: Representing India in Miss World 2023

It was on that day when Hema Shetty granted her daughter permission to participate in Miss India, leaving Sini in tears of joy. Now, Sini Shetty stands as India’s representative, embodying grace, talent, and aspiration on the global stage of Miss World 2023.

Miss World Finals to be Hosted in India After 27 Years

On February 13, 2023, Julia Morley, the Chairperson of the Miss World Organization, announced that Miss World 2023 would be held in the UAE. However, on June 8, 2023, it was revealed that instead of the UAE, the finals would take place in India. This marks the second time in Miss World history that India will host the prestigious event, the first being in 1996 in Bengaluru. 

The renowned filmmaker Karan Johar and Miss World 2013 Megan Young (Philippines) will co-host the finals. This decision reflects India’s prominence as a global destination for cultural events and underscores its enduring connection to the Miss World pageant.

Change in Miss World 2023 Final Date and Venue

Originally scheduled to be held in New Delhi on December 16, 2023, the Miss World 2023 final date and venue faced alteration due to state assembly elections. The final date was rescheduled to March 2, 2024. Today marks the culmination of this prestigious competition. The final event will commence at 7:30 PM at the Jio World Convention Center in Mumbai.

Six Indian Beauties Crowned Miss World

India has a rich history at the Miss World pageant, with six stunning women claiming the prestigious title. Rita Faria won the crown for the first time in 1966. This was followed by Aishwarya Rai’s victory in 1994. Diana Hayden adorned the crown in 1997, while Yukta Mookhey claimed the title in 1999. Priyanka Chopra secured the crown in 2000, and Manushi Chhillar brought home the glory in 2017.

71st Miss World Hosted by India

The Miss World 2024 competition will be hosted by the acclaimed film producer Karan Johar and Miss World 2013 Megan Young from the Philippines. Karan Johar is gearing up for an exhilarating journey on the Miss World platform, a significant milestone in his illustrious career. He was previously seen as a jury member in 2006. 

The grand finale of Miss World 2024 will witness the sensational performances by singer Neha Kakkar and Tony Kakkar, adding more glamour to the event. Additionally, the coveted crown of Miss World 2021 will be passed on to the new titleholder by the graceful model and athlete Karolina Bielawska.

Rasesh Nageshwar

Hi there! I'm Rasesh Nageshwar, and I'm passionate to write about entertainment, movies, web series, and sports. As a writer, I love sharing my insights and opinions on the latest trends, news, and events in these exciting fields.