Kohima: The Beauty and Aesthetics Society of Nagaland (BASN) on Tuesday informed that four contestants from Eastern Nagaland have withdrawn their candidature from the upcoming Miss Nagaland 2021 contest.

The decision to not participate came following a standing resolution adopted by the Eastern Nagaland Women Organization (ENWO) wherein it was decided that women from the six tribes from the region will not be a part of the beauty contest.

The Eastern Nagaland tribes are Sangtam, Konyak, Yimkhiung (formerly known as Yimchunger), Khiamniungam, Phom and Chang, and are predominantly settled in the districts of Mon, Tuensang, Kiphire, Longleng and Noklak.

The four contestants, from the districts of Mon, Kiphire, Tuensang and Longleng, were among the 16 contestants shortlisted to compete in Miss Nagaland 2021.

BASN president Mele Pucho said the four candidates withdrew on November 28, citing the ENWO resolution.  

He said the issue of non participation by the six Eastern Nagaland tribes first began in 2018 where the leaders representing the six tribes met with BASN officials and suggested a separate beauty contest called Miss Eastern. Since then, the state-level beauty contest has not had any participation from these tribes.

Addressing a presser in Kohima, Pucho appealed to the ENWO to reconsider the participation of the four contestants in Miss Nagaland 2021 contest. He said the prestigious beauty contest is inclusive and advocates for women empowerment, besides providing a platform for women. 

Despite the official withdrawal letter submitted by the four contestants, he said the BASN will wait for ENWO to allow the contestants. If the four women are still not allowed to participate, he said the contest will go ahead with the remaining participants. The contest is scheduled for December 10 at 5:30 pm at RCEMPA.

BASN press secretary Sarah Konyak said that in 2018 the ENWO had resolved not to participate in the state-level beauty pageant and had even once conducted the Miss Eastern Nagaland beauty contest at Tuensang.  

She said this year on November 13, the ENWO reaffirmed their resolution to not participate in the contest. However, it was decided that the house will take a final call on the same, prioritising the interest of the girls. Konyak said she hoped that the ENWO would reconsider the participation.

Konyak also shared that the BASN has decided not to take any action against the four contestants for withdrawing despite there being set guidelines.

Meanwhile, the BASN, which turns 30 this year, is set to conduct Miss Nagaland 2021 after a gap of one year, following the outbreak of COVID-19 last year. 

This year’s winner will walk away with a cash prize of Rs 1 Lakh, besides becoming the brand ambassador of Task Force for Music and Arts (TaFMA), and will receive allowance for a year. The winner will also get direct entry to Miss North East 2022, and will be the state icon for the Election Commission. 

The first runners up and the second runners up will each receive Rs 70,000 and Rs 50,000 prize, respectively, besides becoming their respective district icons. The first runners up also gets a direct entry to Miss North East 2022. Seven other subtitle winners will also receive cash prizes and gift hampers.

Tickets for the contest, priced at Rs 500 and Rs 1,000, are available at Symphony cafe. Tickets will also be available at the entry on the day of the contest. 

Also read: Nagaland health dept to public: Follow Covid SOP at Hornbill

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