One could say that Ruby Dhalla was born for politics. As the daughter of immigrant parents from Punjab, India, Dhalla’s entire career would follow a course of activism, whether in the spotlight or not.
A former Canadian Member of Parliament, Dhalla served in office as a representative for the Liberal Party between 2004 and 2011. But long before her stint in office – as young as 10 years old, in fact – this go-getter already had her sights set on politics. In 1984, a school-going Dhalla wrote to the Indian Prime Minister at the time, Indira Ghandi, asking that “instead of violence and killings maybe sit around the table and talk with each other for a solution.” She was of course referring to scenes she had seen on the television of Sikhs clashing with the police at the Golden Temple in her parents’ native Punjab.
Her outcry did not go unnoticed. Ghandi herself invited the youngster to India, alluding to her letter in a press conference. The Indian leader would be assassinated before the meeting could take place however (by her two Sikh bodyguards), but the seed of activism had already been planted in Dhalla.
Aside from politics, Dhalla is no shrinking violet either. She was once named by men’s magazine Maxim as the world’s third “hottest” female politician (Sarah Palin was voted in at number two, but that’s neither here nor there). She has also starred in a Bollywood film and finished as runner-up in the 1993 Miss India-Canada pageant.
As with most public figures though, the former politician has not been without her fair share of scandals and allegations. On most of the accusations, the one-time Liberal MP has chosen to keep mum, in a matter of speaking. On allegations that her family had illegally employed and then mistreated Filipino caregivers looking after her elderly mother, Dhalla kept her cool and stayed largely quiet because, as she put it, “when the facts and the truth come forward, then I think true victory will be achieved.”
Ruby Dhalla has lived quite a colorful life, and her outfit choices over the years are testament to this. We round up our favorite looks over the years:
Beautiful in Blue
Taking part in a traditional lighting ceremony, Dhalla is a sight to behold. Her elegant ensemble is made up of flowing chiffon in beautiful cobalt blue offset by delicate metallic touches. The entire outfit is a lesson in style, with her hair and makeup kept suitably light and feminine.
Lady in Red
Towering skylines are no match for this photogenic politician. Dhalla strikes a formidable fashion force, dressed in a bedazzled sari in eye-catching red. Although her outfit is traditional by design, the Ottawa native accessorizes her gown in a contemporary, modern way. Strappy stiletto heels, bold red lips and edgy Ray Ban Wayfarer sunglasses complete this fashionable ensemble.
Nights in Black Satin
It’s not always covered-up and conservative for our Ruby though. She knows how to let loose in modern evening-wear too. Here she is (centre) dressed in a slinky black form-fitting satin gown. She accessorizes the ensemble with a statement gold necklace and subtle smoky makeup.
Like Diamonds in the Sky
Another exquisite, ultra-glamorous look from Dhalla – this time, a maroon number in plush, luxurious velvet. The evening gown features mesh paneling along the neckline, but it’s the trimming of embroidered patchwork flowers and diamantés that really draw the eye in. She further amps up the drama with striking smoky eye makeup and bold rosy lips.
Coral Queen Ruby Dhalla
Spotted at an outdoor speaking engagement, the outspoken Dhalla is a vision in black and pale coral. Her outfit is a departure from her usual traditional attire yet she gets the balance oh so right. Sophisticated and chic, it’s her choice of footwear that really racks up the style points – the uber-trendy shoe of the moment, Valentino Garavani Rockstud Pumps.