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MUMBAI: Twenty-year-old Navneet Kaur Dhillon from Patiala was Sunday night crowned Femina Miss India 2013.
Sobhita Dhulipala, 20, from Visakhapatnam and Zoya Afroz, 18, from Lucknow, were crowned the two runners-up in the 50th year of the pageant.
The new Miss India is the daughter of an army officer from Patiala.
At the glittering evening, the panel of judges comprised filmmaker Karan Johar, actor John Abraham, cricketer Yuvraj Singh, choreographer Shiamak Dawar, designer Ritu Kumar, Asin Thottumkal and actress Chitrangda Singh.
Former beauty queens and actors Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Priyanka Chopra were on hand to add glamour to the evening.
The star cast of Indra Kumar’s film Grand Masti of Aftab Shivdasani, Riteish Deshmukh and Vivek Oberoi kicked off the evening with their dazzling performance.
Then came performances by Aishwarya, Priyanka and Sonu Nigam.
When Navneet Kaur Dhillon was asked the final question as to what her one regret would be if she were to die tomorrow, she said, “The only thing I would regret would be not having done as much for society as I would like to. Issues of women’s empowerment and child labour and other social evils are a big concern.”
Congratulating the new beauty queens for winning the crown, Priyanka Chopra said, “It changes you from who you could have been to who you are going to be.’’
Indeed, the crown is their passport to Bollywood stardom or modelling.
Many former Miss India winners, including Meher Castelino Mistry, Persis Khambatta, Zeenat Aman, Aishwarya, Sushmita Sen and Priyanka Chopra, went on to win global beauty pageants and make a mark in Bollywood.