The Truth About “Public” Morality in India

17 04 2007

Yesterday, the BBC website splashed this headline across its front page Gere kiss sparks India protests [Ok, I admit it was not splashed across the frontpage but it was on the front page…] Being the news junkie that I am, I wondered, “who did Richard Gere kiss that would make Indians protest, and just what the heck did he do?” Prior to reading the article, I thought “Maybe it’s ’cause he used his tongue.” So with my news trash senses tingling, I delved into the article to find that he kissed Shilpa Shetty. On the bloody cheek. And her hands apparently. Which left me scratching my head and going, “Whats the bloody deal?????” Talk about a let down for my news-trash senses.

The more I read the article, the more cheesed off I got and more I was inspired to rant about it. Some highlights from the article that I found particularly hard to digest were,

“Demonstrators in Mumbai (Bombay) set light to effigies of the Hollywood star, while protesters in other cities shouted “death to Shilpa Shetty”.”

The protesters said Gere insulted Indian culture by kissing the hand and face of the Bollywood actress.

Protesters said his embrace of one of the country’s leading ladies had been “vulgar” and demanded an apology from the film star.

This incident proves one thing. It doesn’t take much to turn Indians into a rabid, violent mob. Personally, I think these buggers are as bad as those mullahs in Pakistan who issued that Fatwa against their tourism minister for hugging her French paragliding instructor after her first jump. Never mind the fact that she’d just jumped from something like 10,000ft above sea level and actually survived. What human being wouldn’t be ecstatic? Its an adrenaline rush like no other. But what do those “wise” old men know?

Getting back to the Indian mob, even now I still fail to see what the bloody deal is with the kiss on her cheek, oh and her hands. How does Richard Gere’s PDA [public display of affection, for those clueless] brand him as having, “…insulted Indian culture by kissing the hand and face of the Bollywood actress.” If he had locked lips, they might have a case given that prudishness is a national “public” trait [I’ll elaborate on the “public point shortly.] But, kissing the cheek and hands is pretty much standard nowadays in most social functions. If I meet a friend [of the opposite sex] and give her a peck on the cheek as an affectionate greeting, does it mean that I have violated the integrity of Indian culture??? That I have sunk to new levels of debauchery and demeaned Indian womanhood for all eternity???”

Come to think of it, what is the crux of the problem? That he kissed an Indian woman in public or that he kissed a Bollywood actress in public??? If it’s the former, then people need to grow up and stop being so bloody immature. If its the latter, then HA!!!!! WHAT A LOAD OF ELEPHANTINE HORSESHIT. I can’t think anyone who can beat the Bolly-Kolly-Tolly-Molly crowd that is the Indian film industry when it comes to vulgarity and using sex as a marketing tool. Just look at what movies are covering today. Rape, Kissing [on the lips, not just the face and hands], Extra-Marital Affairs, Homosexuality, Pre-Marital Sex and on and on. How can the very same public that laps up this trash turn around and start pontificating about the immorality of what Richard Gere did? Look at the trash thats on the TV these days, the various soaps and stuff. They also deal with similar topics. Ok, they’re not as blatant as movies, but they don’t leave much to the imagination as well.

If Richard Gere’s actions were vulgar and an insult to the public sense of morality, then the actions of the filmi crowd are tantamount to full-blown prostitution, with the producers and directors playing the parts of the pimps. And ironically enough, the other part of this controversy is Shilpa Shetty, a Bollywood actress. Just how hypocritical can you get?

Grow up people! The whole issue is that it was Richard Gere, a famous Hollywood star, not some local bakhra. I bet if it was some Indian guy it wouldn’t have led to effigy burning. Some minor outrage maybe, but not this kind of reaction, no way. I’m willing to bet that the majority of protesters are male, who would give their left arms to be able to do what Gere did. If any women were part of this, then I’ll bet that they are the ones who lap up the shit you see in the movies and deem that as entertainment, and therefore acceptable. If you can accept, even enjoy, on-screen kisses, gropes and what not, then you bloody well can accept that fact that a guy can kiss a girl’s hands and face, and not escalate it into some major public controversy. If you don’t like it, then tough. You can’t have it both ways.

What a load of crap. I still can’t get over how stupid this whole thing is. For a culture that gave the world the Kama Sutra, the temples of Kujraho, and some of the most erotic art you’ll find on the planet, its amazing, and depressing, how unwilling we are to accept something so insignificant as a kiss. Pathetic!

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2 responses

19 11 2007
Palli

Have you heard about the word “stereotype”?

If you have than please be “chronically sane” and DON’T ever stereotype India.If i told you Richard Gere kiss was a normal thing for 90% of India,the people of kamasutra,i might add.then would you believe me?
Everything has a political background in India and these goons who burn effigies also destroy news buildings,beat married couples or lovers in the park and even commit genocides if told by there masters.They even beat a brother and a sister once who were sitting in the park,there are backward states in India like U.P. and Bihar where they do such things but that doesn’t mean all people from these states are shallow buffoons.
If you are a foreigner than you are ignorant about India my friend and if you are Indian than you are just an idiot.
If a mob burning stuff infront of a camera alters your judgement about a country than its you who are blind about India.
I was here to find an article about public morality in India in day to day life thats the issue which we should talk about.

17 05 2008
thalia

To me I really don’t think is bad I mean its respectful to kiss a lady on the hand and cheek its not like he was tryin to touch her in the wrong places really was that nessceray to go all mad and insane whats a big deal.

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