In a star-studded event on Sunday, 24-year old Sarah-Jane Dias was crowned Miss India-World 2007. A VJ by profession, Sarah was one of the 25 contestants who participated in the pageant. The 24-year old winner, who believes that “if you are good, the world will be good to you”, spoke to CNN-IBN’s Bhupendra Chaubey about the quality of the Miss India pageant, the idea of beauty. Bhupendra Chaubey: Why did you decide to participate in this contest? Sarah-Jane: I wanted to do this since I was five years old. And I had a slight inkling, a woman’s intuition that I should participate in the contest this year. I cannot put my feelings into words that I decided to take part this year, and this is the year that I won. It’s amazing. Bhupendra Chaubey:What’s the aim of these beauty pageants? What is it they ultimately achieve? Sarah-Jane: They are aimed at showcasing beautiful young women. Gone are the days when men ruled the world. In today’s age, women are emerging as an equal power. We are women. We like doing things this way. There’s a reason women like the film Pretty Women. And I think the pageant has moved from being just a beauty pageant. Women have gone ahead and done great things after this. It not just about plain looks, but about intelligence too. Bhupendra Chaubey: Then why does everybody think that there has been a steady decline in the quality of participants in the event? Sarah-Jane: No I wouldn’t say that. I would say that the competition abroad has become tougher. And I fact this year I think they have made a fabulous decision to have not one, not two, but three winners. I, Miss Universe and Miss Universe, future-to-be, are on the same platform. We have got the same cash price. It gives us a stronger chance to do brilliantly abroad. So there hasn’t been a decline in quality. Certain changes have been brought about and change in my opinion is always good. Bhupendra Chaubey: If there hasn’t been a decline in quality then would you agree that through these pageants there is an attempt being made to look at beauty only as a skin-deep phenomenon? Sarah-Jane: No. I can’t believe that you are even asking me that question. Let me not about other women because I don’t know whether they believe in themselves or not. But I will tell you about myself. I believe in myself and winning this title has increased the belief by leaps and bounds. And that belief brings about the beauty on the outside. And that’s what shows in every one else too. Look at Puja Gupta (Miss India-Universe) and Pooja Chitgopekar (Miss India-Earth), they are both beautiful girls and it truly comes from the inside. So things like ‘beauty is skin-deep’ should be crumpled up and thrown away. Bhupendra Chaubey: But if the definition of beauty has got to do completely with self belief, would you say that these pageants are not designed to test the intellectual capability? How do they determine that you are really beautiful? Sarah-Jane: It’s actually equally both because there is a pre-judging that happens where there is one to one with the judges where you are tested and cross-questioned on the world, what you like, your ability to communicate, speak, convey and convince because at the end you may have the most stunning woman winning the title, but if you go to the international pageant and you do not convince the judges that you deserve the title, then what’s the point? Bhupendra Chaubey: What your definition of the term beautiful? Sarah-Jane: As contradictory to what you may think, I haven’t learnt this. But beautiful is my mother, beautiful is every single woman, every single man. Any good human being is beautiful because like I said if you’re beautiful from inside, it shows outside. You may go for as many cosmetic surgeries as you may want to, but if you don’t do good to others, it doesn’t matter. Bhupendra Chaubey: Thank you and many, many congratulations. Sarah-Jane: Thank you so much for speaking with me.