Modern beauty queen butts up against adoration of traditional Living Goddess (AP).
The pageant ran into controversy in 2008 when the then Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (CPN-M), who had ended its 10-year armed revolt and signed a peace agreement with the government in 2006, returned to mainstream politics and its Women's Wing opposed the pageant.
"Miss Nepal widens the division between the haves and have-nots," said Amrita Thapa Magar, chief of the party's Women's Wing, last year, explaining why they were opposing the contest. "Only affluent women who can afford the cosmetics and wardrobes needed can take part." Magar also said the contest degraded women to "commodities" and "social inferiors" at a time when her party was trying to build a "new Nepal."
Last year, when the Maoist party headed the government, the strong opposition to Miss Nepal caused the pageant to be canceled. Now, with a new [pro-Chinese] government at the helm, the organizers are hoping that Miss Nepal can be held again.