How Strela Luwang beat epilepsy to represent Manipur in Miss India

International Desk
photo: collected

photo: collected

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No matter the competition, the home advantage is real, we are told. Thousands cheering for you every time your name is announced can only be a good thing, right? And imagine if you win? The noise, the cheers, and the memories will remain forever etched in your memories.

But Strela Thounaojam Luwang, Femina Miss Manipur, who will walk down the ramp of Femina Miss India 2023 in her home town of Imphal, is already a winner and an example for several people. And in some ways, her name has already made it to history books: she will forever be the person who represented Manipur the first time the state hosted the prestigious event.

“Excited is a word that cannot even express my feelings right now. I’m ecstatic, to be fair, and I must say Manipur is ready to welcome the whole country with huge smiles and open arms,” Strela told EastMojo over the phone from Mumbai, just days before landing in Manipur for the final leg.

“It’s a proud moment for Strela, as she represents Manipur with grace and dignity p, showcasing the beauty of sisterhood and the unity in diversity of India’s diverse culture,” wrote Femina Miss India on Facebook.

On Friday, after undergoing intensive sessions in Mumbai for a month, contestants from 28 states and two union territories arrived in Imphal City, the capital of Manipur, for the pageant’s grand finale.

Difficult journey, resilient Strela
Strela Luwang started her career in modelling at the age of 14 and always dreamt of participating in the pageant. “I am so thankful for all the love and support I’ve received from the people of Manipur. It is definitely not an overnight success. I would say it came with lots of hard work and effort as I’ve been preparing and praying for this for more than five years,” said Luwang.

But as is often the case, the reality was starkly different to her dreams.

Born to Thounaojam Ratan Luwangcha and Ashalata Chingsubam of Uripok Bachaspati Leikai, Strela, the sixth among eight siblings, suffered from seizures during her youth. Luwang said that life was not easy when she was young, and her parents bore most of the suffering.

“I’m so thankful and sorry to them even today,” she said, adding, “I call it a blessing and not a hurdle. When I was sick and immobile, I had imagined a life I wanted to live in the future when I finally overcame my illness. I must say: those visions are why I am here today, living and working hard for the life I imagined then.”

Thankfully, seizures are now a thing of the past, and she is gracefully living her dreams with dignified, hard work and confidence, now hoping to bring home the Femina Miss India title.

Sharing her experience at Femina Miss India thus far, Luwang said, “The journey has been amazing, and I am also looking forward to making more memories and bonding with the few days left. The team is very supportive and kind. Our managers are our best friends. We can go to them for anything. They will offer a shoulder when we need to cry.”

The glamour industry is known for cut-throat competition and lack of empathy, however, for Luwang, her co-contestants were the ones who gave her strength and comfort.

“We would fool around when the situation is a little grim and have a pep talk if any of us is facing an issue, that is the sisterhood we have for one another,” she said.

Besides modelling, Strela, a former cabin crew, is pursuing her business studies in Manipur. During her free time, she loves to write, sing and play the ukulele, which, she says, is ‘her cradle of comfort and joy’ amid her hectic lifestyle.

A different industry, a reformed outlook
According to the beauty queen from Manipur, the concept and focus of beauty pageants changed drastically over the years.

“The once-appreciated preachy answers and speeches are less appreciated right now. Today, a beauty queen is someone relatable. She can make mistakes, doesn’t have to be perfect or look perfect in every way possible. That feeling of reachability will inspire the younger generations to have the same passion,” she said.

So, today the changes are evident not only concerning inner beauty or outer beauty, it is about self-acceptance and assurance. “I must say it is pretty successful in its way,” added Luwang, also a social influencer.

Luwang has over 45,000 followers on Instagram and several thousands more on other social platforms.

“My followers are my friends, their love and support have been what made me go about when doubts shadow my mind and I am so thankful to them for always being there for me,” she said.

After the reform of the quota I will again stand by the government: Mehzabeen

Masid Ron, Senior Newsroom Editor, Dhaka:
Mehzabeen Chowdhury

Mehzabeen Chowdhury

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Mehjabeen Chowdhury, the most popular actress of TV dramas, has also stood up against the ongoing violence against students with a strong voice. Highlighting the information of the Qur'an-Hadith today (Thursday) wrote a long text on the social handle. Mehjabeen Chowdhury's full text is presented here-

I have learned since childhood that family-society-state does not support raising hands on women. Our holy scriptures also never teach violence against women. It is said in the Holy Quran, "Be kind to women". It is said in the hadith, "The best of you are those who behave well with women".

But unfortunately, we have to see different pictures and shocking videos in the media or social media these days. Not one, not two, but countless of my sisters are being brutally attacked and bloodied. How cruel, what brutal! I will come to the topic of justice and injustice later, but I will say from my position: this violence against women cannot be accepted even on the pretext of the highest argument. 'No' means 'no'; not at all what did the students do? They were vocal about their rights. Quota reforms were demanded. So? Anyone can claim freedom in a democratic country. But raising hands on a woman, killing a promising young man like 'Abu Sayed' - does this fall under the level of civilization? Was there no other solution? Why do you have to shoot?

The situation may return to normal today or tomorrow. But the mother's chest is empty, the smile on the family's face is gone, can we fill that emptiness in exchange for something else? Not at all, history is a witness that no matter how great the power is, no one has ever achieved anything by overpowering the student society. So why this failed boom? We always cherish the great freedom war or our brave freedom fighters. We are proud that the brave freedom fighters sacrificed their lives to give us a free country. But in this country, one cannot express one's own feelings, one cannot demand rights, above all else, the identity of merit cannot be seen as the greatest, if you go against the wishes of the administration, you will be attacked and you will have to give your life prematurely - what is the dream of Bangladesh? Did you see our brave freedom fighters? I don't think so.

From rise in commodity prices, to question paper leaks to corruption - we remain silent on almost all issues. Even if the keeper becomes the eater, we sit in silence. Wait, maybe a solution will come. If not today, it will come in two days. On other issues we are not as vocal on social media. So why are you late? Why are common people like us condemning the action of the government regardless of party affiliation on the issue of quota reform? The reason is one; quota reform is the need of the hour. It is important to solve it as soon as possible. It should not be forgotten that we, the common people, clapped our hands with pride for many milestone achievements of the government including Metro Rail, Padma Bridge, Fly Over etc. I gave cheeky compliments. I joined social media. Surely, we will stand by the government again after the quota reform is done according to the demands of the students. I will cooperate with the government to solve all the problems of the country as a party. We will move the country forward together.

After all, students are the future of tomorrow. Mehjabeen Chowdhury appealed to the honorable Prime Minister and the Supreme Court to support their logical demands without suppressing them. I believe we will not be disappointed.

At the end of the post, the actress used the hashtag #SaveBangladeshiStudents. He added a collage of three photos of the ongoing movement.


Salman was injured by physically joining the quota movement

Masid Ron, Senior Newsroom Editor,
Photo: Popular YouTuber Salman Muktadir has personally participated in the quota movement

Photo: Popular YouTuber Salman Muktadir has personally participated in the quota movement

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Popular YouTuber Salman Muktadir was the first showbiz star to take part in the quota movement. Meanwhile, a picture of the star wearing a mask has gone viral on social media. And without reading that film, Salman is getting great praise.

But a little while ago, another video of Salman has spread on social media. It is seen that some people are taking care of this star because he was attacked. He was slightly injured while physically participating in the quota movement.

A person posted that picture of Salman and wrote on Facebook, "Among the so-called popular figures, I saw only Salman Muktadir joining the movement directly on the field. Known to most as the 'rude boy'.

Salman Muktadir also posted on Facebook before joining the movement directly on the field. On July 16, Salman wrote on his Facebook, 'Is there any student who is infected or unable to enter the hall? I will take care of you. But it is impossible for me to filter through millions of messages or posts. So see if you have any mutual friends in my friend list and knock me.'

He also wrote, 'If you need a place to stay or you need medical care, I'm here. Just saw some videos where people can't enter their halls. If that's not enough, apologize again. I am truly heartbroken and embarrassed. I feel ashamed that I am really popular and not getting any help.' 


Swastika's emotional status on the quota movement

Entertainment Desk,, Dhaka
Indian actress Swastika Mukherjee

Indian actress Swastika Mukherjee

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Students are protesting across the country demanding quota reforms in government jobs. Turbulent streets in one-point demand, YouTubers including filmmakers, actors and actresses have expressed solidarity with the protestors seeking quota reform. But this time the stars outside the country have also united on that issue. Recently, popular Indian actress Swastika Mukherjee opened her mouth on the quota issue.

In an emotional post on her Facebook account, the Indian actress wrote, 'I have not been in my country for almost a month. There is hardly any Third World news on US news channels. And I'm not much of a phone bug, so it was late to hear such bad news.

I went to Bangladesh a few months ago, I really wanted to go to Jahangirnagar University. Had the good fortune to go to art will be a memorable day of life. Every time I come, I can't go because of my busy schedule, my mother also wanted to go to Bangladesh, but she was not taken, but today I saw a video, the smoke of bullets. University students are affected. When the student age is over, Jahangirnagar and Jadavpur are very close to me. Kath Golap trees are also similar. The clouds in the sky are the same. Only today there is the smell of gunpowder.'

'The field is heavy with fog

Rootmarch fades to the horizon

Is it lying in the middle of the road?

I sit down and pick it up

Cut off your head, whale. '

'I have never seen such a hospitable nation, the invitation for food never ends, where else can I see such a beautiful display of language all over the road? Eyeglass wall writing? Perhaps it is possible for a nation to take the oath of liberation war.

Today, I'm feeling restless. I am also a mother of children. I hope Bangladesh will be calm. I am far away, I can only pray this.

Light from the source of darkness - that is our light... Let there be light... Let it be good for all.' 


I never appeared BCS exam, the whole thing is fake: Tahsan

Entertainment Desk,
I never appeared BCS exam, the whole thing is fake: Tahsan

I never appeared BCS exam, the whole thing is fake: Tahsan

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The Bangladesh Public Service Commission (PSC) question paper leak has sparked a storm of criticism across the country. In the meantime, music-actor Tahsan Rahman Khan and his mother's name suddenly came into discussion. This artist has been criticized by netizens on social media. They are making abusive comments about this popular singer without verifying it.

Tahsan's mother is the former PSC chairman. It is also claimed that Tahsan stood first in BCS(foreign service cadre) by abusing the power of his mother Zinatun Nesa. Finally, Tahsan opened up about the matter.

Recently, Tahsan told the media that the matter of appearing in the BCS is completely fake. In Tahsan's words, 'I have never appeared on the BCS exam. Being first in the foreign service cadre in the 24th BCS is out of the question.

When asked about the inclusion of his mother's name, the star said, "There is a mistake here. This driver is just like any other driver in the office. He is not my mother's driver.'

Meanwhile, rumor scanners on social media reported that Tahsan's omission from the 24th BCS Viva was not true. It has been said there that the preliminary examination of the 24th BCS was held on February 28, 2003. However, the Bangladesh Public Service Commission (BPSC) canceled the examination on March 3 due to the allegations of question leakage. Later, the 24th BCS preliminary exam was again held and the recruitment process was completed through written exam and viva- voce.

Incidentally, three officials of Bangladesh Public Service Commission (PSC) and 17 officials including former driver Syed Abed Ali are involved in the BCS question leak. They have already been arrested. In the main discussion among them is Syed Abed Ali, the driver. Tahsan's name came indirectly from the source of Abed Ali on social media.