The Many Firsts of Indrani Rahman, The Miss India We Should Know About

Indira Rahman and her mother Ragini Devi

At 22, Indrani Rahman was already married and a mother of two when she became the first South Asian to compete in the Miss Universe pageant, alongside establishing an illustrious career in the field of dance. Watch this video to know her incredible story.

When we talk about Indian women representing their nation in Miss Universe, the likes of Sushmita Sen and Lara Dutta come to mind. But a lesser-known name is that of Indrani Rahman, who represented her country in the inaugural Miss Universe pageant of 1952.

Indrani was a successful classical dancer who was well trained in Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathakali and Odissi. While competing for the coveted title, she was married and had two kids.

She entered the world of dance following in the footsteps of her American-born mother, Esther Luella Sherman, who later took the name Ragini Devi. Ragini was born in Minneapolis and was deeply interested in Indian art forms.

Like her mother, Indrani became a well-acclaimed dancer. She even performed for US President J F Kennedy and Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru during the latter’s official visit to Washington DC. In 1961, she became the first dancer to be a part of the Asia Society tour.

Indrani’s daughter Sukanya Rahman has published a book named ‘Dancing in the Family’ which describes the journey of these women in the arena of dance.

Edouard Borovansky with Indrani Rahman and students Australian News and Information Bureau
Edouard Borovansky with Indrani Rahman and students.
Credits: Australian News and Information Bureau.

Watch the glorious story of the three generations of powerful women here:

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