Baha'i News -- Men are not superior to women, says BBC quiz winner

Men are not superior to women, says BBC quiz winner

BBC Masterminds Dayita Dutta, Ajai Banerji, K E Priyamvada and Archana Garodia Gupta. 
Ms Gupta is ‘Champion of Champions’.

Men are not superior to women, says BBC quiz winner

Mind you, she has a mastermind

DH News Service

Ms Archana Garodia Gupta, a Delhi-based businesswoman, has been declared the “Champion of Champions” among four winners of Mastermind India Quiz competition conducted by BBC World. She scored 25 points.  To a question, she agreed that it was a myth that men were superior to women in memorising facts, statistics and chronology of events.

Starting from August 8, Mastermind India series will be telecast on BBC World every Thursday at 10 pm and re-telecast every Sunday at 10 am.  Of the four champions who were in the contest, three were women: Dehra Dun- based school teacher Dayita Dutta, assistant editor in a publishing house K E Priyamvada and Archana. The lone male champion was Ajai Banerjee, a school teacher from Dehra Dun who won the Mastermind India in 1999. 

“It was a tough contest,” said Ms Priyamvada, winner of Mastermind in 2000. “Archana topped the contest, closely followed by Ajai with 24 points, Dayita 23 and I scored 22 points. But it was fun,” she said. Hailing from a Marwari business family in Kolkata which later moved to Delhi, Archana took more interest in her studies than anything else. Her parents’ advice to her and her four sisters was: always concentrate on studies. Ms Archana is an economics honours from Lady Shriram College, Delhi, and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (1988). She refused a placement offer by the institute and joined her father’s textile business.

She said, “In no way this restricted my movement or my growth. In fact, it helped me to grow and our business too excelled.” While in business she visited several countries. She is married to Manoj Gupta, a gem and jewellery expert and an NRI from US. She can speak half a dozen languages: Marwari, Bengali, Hindi, English, French and German.

Asked what inspired her to participate in the quiz show conducted by Siddarth Basu, she said participating in quiz contests was nothing new to her. “When I watched these (BBC) quiz shows, I could always answer many of the questions. Also, I participated and won many quiz competitions earlier.” 

“Participating in the Master Mind in 2001 and later for Champions Trophy this year reminded me of my school and college days,” she added. She participated in Quiz Time presented by Basu on Doordarshan in 1985 and 1987.  Even though her husband was not present for the finals as he was abroad on a business trip, he too is naturally thrilled by his wife’s success. Asked if he is also interested in quiz contests, he said: “I only encourage her. It’s her forte.”

Ms Archana chose the life and times of Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi as her specialised subject for the Champions contest. The finals of the Champion of Champions was shot at the Bahai House of Worship, popularly known as Lotus Temple, designed by Fariborz Sahba. Did she try her hand at “Kaun Banega Crorepati”? “Getting through the phone itself is a big lottery. That is the most difficult obstacle. I tried it, but could not succeed.” 

©Copyright 2002, Deccan Herald (New Delhi, India)

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