I was invited to a glitzy bash (www.awaawards.com) last week by the Asian Foundation for Philanthropy (www.affp.org.uk) at the Park Lane Hilton where women of Asian origin were recognised across a range of categories for their achievements. Among all the stars were prominent people like Sarah Brown, Cherie Blair, and LIZ HURLEY. However, the biggest star in the room – and I don’t think there’ll be any disagreement from any quarter – was Pinky Lilani OBE, whose brainchild this celebration was.
Sitting there at the event, surrounded by women who’d made such a difference, what struck me was that the portrayal of women of Indian origin in the media is dismal but their contribution is absolutely massive.
Just in India, the number of women who are leading politicians, business leaders, social entrepreneurs, engineers, IT graduates outranks the numbers you will find in other countries in the subcontinent. As students of society, this poses an interesting question to which the answer, I feel, lies in the culture of India and Indian people.
Going back to the event, the funny thing was that Liz Hurley – despite being such a uber model type of person was upstaged by her Indian husband – Arun Nayyar! The number of women around that man that evening was unbelievable! On my way out, I bumped into her and asked her if she wanted a lift home 🙂