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Former Supermodel Manasvi Mamgai Says West Embracing Indian Culture

Former Miss India World and actress Manasvi Mamgai on Wednesday opened up about how Indian culture and values were being embraced and adopted globally.

Manasvi won the Femina Miss India World pageant in 2010 and went on to represent India at the Miss World the same year. She made her debut in Bollywood with ‘Action Jackson’ opposite Ajay Devgn in 2014. However, with the film tanking at the box office, she moved to Los Angeles in 2016. She currently lives in the US and visits India occasionally for work.

In 2016, she assumed the role of the Indian ambassador to the Republican Hindu Coalition. She performed at former US President Donald Trump’s pre-inaugural welcome celebrations at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC and also headlined a lot of similar events.
Mamgain, during a free-wheeling chat with ANI, said, “I have had a very different attitude since childhood.

I have always been interested in entertainment, dance, and drama but I was interested more towards contribution, giving back and world events. So actually, Miss India, especially Miss World India, is more about social causes. In that too, even in Miss World, they give preference to contestants who do social work and there is a category.

When I participated in the Miss India pageant, there was a category called ‘Beauty with Purpose’. I was very interested in that. So after dabbling in entertainment, movies, and theatre, I got an opportunity from a US organisation that liked my previous work. It was a Hindu social organization, which is politically very active in the US. They work especially for immigrants, Indian immigrants.”

“So when an opportunity came along to work for them, I decided to try it out. I did one event, two events, and eventually, I realised that I was doing something that could impact others in a positive way,” the former Miss India added.

On how the traditional Indian culture was transcending boundaries and finding favour with the West, the former supermodel added, “I feel that the West has taken to Indian culture in a big way. Practices and rituals that we associate with Hinduism, as well as our traditional values, and food, are finding favour with people in the West.

I stay in LA but don’t miss India that much. Yoga features prominently in the public discourse there. There’s a yoga studio in every other corner of the US. The city drink in LA is the turmeric latte, which we also have in India in the form of turmeric milk. My friends from LA are dying to come to India. The West has also taken to our ancient Ayurvedic practices as a fish takes to water. The standout feature of our religion is that it doesn’t force anyone to follow it or makes it binding on the followers to abide by the practices associated with it. It preaches about living a good life and doing well.”

On India’s elevated status on the global stage, Mamgai said, “The whole world is looking at India now. It has become the epicentre. If we keep on doing well across spheres and keep going in the same direction, I think India has the potential to be the number one global power. Since I am from the entertainment industry, I will talk about the changes happening in our space.

Last year, at the Oscars, there was a lot of buzz around ‘RRR’ (which scored a nomination and won the award for Best Original Song). Guneet’s (Monga, producer) film ‘The Elephant Whisperers’ also received an Oscar and was much appreciated. Two or three of our films scored nominations at the Academy Awards, which was a big deal.”

“So, the West, especially the entertainment world, studios, and streaming platforms, are all focusing on India. Be it Netflix, Amazon or other streaming platforms, they all want Indian content. They are producing India-centric content. Netflix movie franchise ‘Extraction’ was shot extensively in India. Earlier, an India visiting the West would be routinely subjected to racial barbs. The West wasn’t welcoming of us, it didn’t treat us well.

However. what’s happening now is the exact opposite of what happened before. Now, if you are Indian, people would walk up to you and excitedly strike up conversations about the opportunities that our country affords. The whole world, especially people associated with the entertainment industry, wants to come here,” she added.

“Another thing about the US is that it hasn’t had a female President as yet. However, in our country, women came prominently into public life long back and even served the people as prime minister and President. Today, we feel proud to have Droupadi Murmu as our President. We have also had a female Defence Minster (Nirmala Sitharaman), who is now ably handling Finance.

India has always been pro-choice while Western societies are still split between pro-choice and pro-life. We are taking steps to facilitate the entry of women in male-dominated spaces such as aviation and air force. Whenever we talk about the strides that our country is making, it fills us with pride,” Mamgai added.

The former supermodel was recently seen in a show Kajol starrer ‘The Trial’ and also entered Salman Khan’s reality show ‘Bigg Boss’ 17 as a wild card entrant.

Source: The News Mill