An Indian woman labouring at a construction site?
An Indian woman alleged of a great bank fraud?
A woman from another nationality but committed to Indian poor?
An Indian woman of fame and affluence alleged of illegitimate foreign bank accounts?
The Tripura Chief Minister became the centre of news when sometime before he claimed that during the time of the Mahabharata, India had internet. The Chief Minister is again the centre of controversy because he said that only Aishwarya Rai and not Diana Hayden deserved to win the international beauty pageant. The Chief Minister said that only Indian women who looked like mythological goddesses deserved to win and that Diana Hayden did not deserve the crown. He also said that Aishwarya Rai was the quintessential Indian beauty.
It is ironical that the cosmetic industry, the media and the stereotypical definitions of beauty propagated by the neo-liberal market are taken for granted. Is appearance, the perfect body, the attractiveness of the outer self the only criteria for being considered beautiful?
Is a migrant woman from Jharkhand labouring under the burring heat and still humming a lullaby for her infant not beautiful?
An old grandmother with a wrinkled face revealing insightful experiences from her days in pre-partition India, not beautiful?
Are women like Soni Sori, Medha Patkar who have devoted their lives to the ordinary people of India, not beautiful?
It is paradoxical that society, media, culture or politics do not bother to redefine beauty and to think of a counter narrative to prevalent notions of beauty. Women across cultures, from all walks of life are beautiful and the criterion that make them beautiful is their work, their mission, their dedication to the emancipation of women. India should be proud of women who truly live its philosophy in spite of their external appearances, bank balances, political affiliations and foreign affiliations.