Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A World Slowly Going Mad!
You gotta be friggin kidding me! They are rioting for this? A hug and a peck on the cheek? Is this all that it takes for the "protectors of Indian culture" to take to the streets?
Update : Video of hug/kiss from Youtube below. I still don't see what the big deal is. Also like Sachin pointed out in the comments and if any of you look at a Bollywood music video on youtube, you may find what Gere did to be pretty tame. But then again my opinion is just that an opinion of some guy with a blog.

From the Yahoo News link..

Angry crowds in several Indian cities burned effigies of Richard Gere on
Monday after he swept a popular Bollywood actress into his arms and kissed her
several times during an AIDS-awareness event.

Photographs of the 57-year-old actor embracing Shilpa Shetty and
kissing her on the cheek at an HIV/AIDS awareness event in New Delhi were
splashed across Monday's front pages in India — a country where sex and public
displays of affection are largely taboo.

In Mumbai, members of the
right-wing Hindu nationalist group Shiv Sena beat burning effigies of Gere with
sticks and set fire to glamorous shots of Shetty.

Similar protests broke
out in other cities, including Varanasi, Hinduism's holiest city, and in the
northern town of Meerut, where crowds chanted "Down with Shilpa Shetty!"

The two appeared at a press conference in New Delhi on Sunday to
highlight the HIV/AIDS epidemic among India's truck drivers. In front of a
cheering crowd, Gere kissed the giggling Shetty on the hand, then kissed her on
both cheeks before bending her in a full embrace to kiss her cheek again.
The spokesman for Hindu nationalist party Bharatiya Janata Party
condemned the kiss.
"Such a public display is not part of Indian tradition,"
said Prakash Javadekar, according to PTI.

Shetty, already well-known in
India, became an international star after her appearance on the British reality
show "Celebrity Big Brother" — another controversial public appearance. A fellow
contestant, Jade Goody, sparked international headlines by making allegedly
racist comments to Shetty. Mobs took to the streets of India to denounce Goody,
and Shetty went on to win the competition.

Somebody tell that Hindu nationalist party spokesman to go look at the erotic temple carvings at the sun temple in Konark. That is a part of the Indian culture too, what next? Covering them up? I love how these roaches crawl out of the dark at times like this.

Have I said how much I dislike religious nutjobs no matter what their flavor is? The Shiv Sena are just a bunch of neo fascists .. of the Hindu brand.

Do these people even consider that maybe talking about sex and sex education might help dealing with the crisis that India has with the highest number of HIV cases (5.2 million)? Or how about doing something about the declining number of women to men as seen by the adult sex ratio? Or the myriad social and economic issues that India faces?

No! But these folks wanna get their knickers in a twist over an embrace and a kiss on the cheek?

This has been your first public version of my daily rant. Ignore this fool!


ML said...

Sanjay, I see your frustration as I feel the same way you do about this.
Interesting how they focus on stupid crap like this when there are far more serious issues that need to be taken care of immediately.

Shitrint said...

this one was hilarious! i mean u shudve read the times of india article on this. the stupid shuv sainiks and other political parties from the north went off topic suggesting that "we are still under the White man rule"! lol!

and also all that crap the pol parties said abt "nari shakti" in india. and those are the very cities and towns where dalit women are stripped naked and paraded and raped every other day!

tho i wonder abt the 'pose' gere and shetty have adopted ( i mean they are bending onto one side, as if falling whiling pecking on the cheek)! why?

Beenzzz said...

Well, it is stupid but I can understand why they would protest Richard Gere. I mean think of all the stories associated with him. ;)
Really, I think they are a bit in the stone age sometimes. You should have seen how ridiculous they were when I went to Parliament. The rules they placed on women were just disgusting. We weren't allowed to speak and the whole time men were speaking, but that was ok.

Diana said...

I guess there are stupid, fascist people everywhere. Shame, really.

SachinRB said...

An American co-worker mentioned this to me today. I hadn't even heard about the story, but when she told me about it, I truly got embarrassed.

Of course, I was saddened that the cultural background that I am part of, that I am proud of, doesn't feel the need to open their minds and see through things. I keep thinking that maybe the youth of today will change things around...that maybe the younger generation will understand the desperate need for the country to overcome its flaws in many things and bring more awareness and raise questions, demand answers...but I haven't seen any of that in the last few years either.

I just can't comprehend that the public loves it when Aamir Khan and Karishma Kapoor, or more recently Hritik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai can lip-lock for minutes on the big screen, but when a foreigner embraces our own with no sexual connotation whatsoever...all hell breaks loose. Sad.

(PS: Think I commented in the wrong area at first - haloscan(?))

Asha said...

I just saw that on CNN! I think Richard Gere has gone senile.He kept grabbing at her several times,I could see her uncomfortable.I can understand the peck on the cheek and this was not a peck!!
That doesn't call for all the necessary hoopla from Indians of course but then, they got nothing else to do you see!;D

MONA said...

Oh no! I come here after sooo long & I see it again!
We had to bear this torture the whole of yesterday on news channels, flashed at evry five minutes intervel!
Talk about Over exposure!
Yup, a lot has been going on, but I managed to coax out a post finally.

Id it is said...

Would people rather see someone like the Virginia Tech gunman massacre other fellow citizens in a cold and dispassionate way??!!
What's wrong with the world? Since when has love become a dirty word, and a warm hug 'n friendly kiss between friends actions to protest!

Nadim said...

ignore those fools... thats what i have been doing... but i guess ppl in mumbai have no such option!
I was lucky those J holes are not in south India!

Carrie said...

You see I always learn from you. I'm not familiar with the culture and possibly Gere isn't either.

Sanjay said...

@ml...Thanks. This kind of politics if I may call it that, is common all over the place. Like the gay bashing that we often see on the right here, as if gay folks are the biggest threat we face!

@shitrint. :) Maybe I will. I saw this on yahoo.
lol @ "white man rule" about time they got over than thing hanging over their heads. Maybe an explanation for that pose is that Shilpa Shetty was sort of surprised and her initial reaction was to avoid him? Dunno just speculating here.

@beenzzz.. I know what you mean but it was also rumored he may be gay (not that there is anything wrong with that). I remember your post about your visit to the parliament.

@Diana.. Indeed a shame..indeed.

Sanjay said...

@Sachin.. I agree with what you are saying re opening their minds. Good point about the comparison with Bollywood there. I did see your comment in the other comments thread but did not get a chance to respond, glad you copied it here too.

@Asha.. lol @gere going senile. He sounded fine to me when I heard his interview on fresh air some days back. Maybe I should also go see the video if I can find it. Regardless this is not worthy of this disproportionate and idiotic response.

@Mona. Sorry you have to read this here too :) I don't follow news about India that closely and this was the first thing that caught my eye. That aside I am glad you are back blogging and I hope you find peace.

Sanjay said...

@Id it is.. world going mad innit?

@Nadim. The south does seem more sensible but they may have their own brand of crazies there like every other place?

@Carrie. Thanks. I diasgree with Gere not knowing maybe he does not. The reason I say that is he is a Buddhist and a disciple of the Dalai Lama, and visits India often. But hugging is not that uncommon esp not amongst certain folks in India, amongst the more educated and open minded kinds. But I could be wrong.

Lotus Reads said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lotus Reads said...

Hi, Sanjay!

I was hoping someone would post on this...the Indian news channels have been having a field day with this one. Shilpa Shetty was quite articulate when she spoke at her hurriedly thrown press conference, she was very concerned that the focus had been shifted from AIDS to this stupid, trivial kiss, also, she was concerned about our (Indian) image abroad when people see how badly we treat foreign Aid workers.

And don't get me started on the BJP and the Shiv Sainiks...clearly they don't have enough work!

Ok, off to see American Idol now to see if Sanjaya will get another life! :)

Sanjay said...

Hey there Lotus.. How have you been?
Sheer luck that I saw this, I am not up to speed with new back in India always. This just caught my eye, and I was like what the heck?

And yay for Shilpa Shetty for that press conference and thank you for your comment and telling me about that bit of news.

I can't stand the BJP or Shiv Sena either.

Enjoy American idol, Sanjaya surely has more lives than me..lol

Lisa Francisco said...

Welcome, Welcome, Welcome to my little blog! It's always great to meet new people in this blog world!

Well, with the rioting, people can't realize that they are harming themselves by burning their businesses and homes.


Intern said...

what irony, sex and display of public affection is banned but sex related diseases are spreading like wildfire.

Good I read this piece her..I'm slightly out of touch with news there.

deepsat said...

these are double faced idiots! they are as jobless as ever to wait for some silly issue!!

they create all the unnecessary issues at one time and at other time they go get drunk with all the tax payers money and party in khajurao style!!! Absolute idiots!!

Keshi said...

Sanjay my thoughts were exactly the same as ur's when I saw it on News last night. I was thinking if those Indian ppl have completely lost it to protest against a hug n a kiss! The world needs more of that right now. Some morons dun get it do they!


Sanjay said...

@Lisa. :) Thank you for stopping by. True how ppl don't mind messing up their own local economy in this process.

@Intern.. Interesting that irony you mention. Same here am not as much in touch with things back home either.

@Deepsat.. I agree. lol.

@Keshi.. They don't sad as it is. I agree with you we need more love, understanding and tolerance.

Aditi said...

sad isnt it.. part of the attacks on the news channels office was because they aired a story about a couple eloping due to a hindu muslim love affair..

Anonymous said...

For a society that has been deeply damaged by colonialism can one think of a more offensive image of a white guy grabbing a daughter of India and forcing himself upon her? It is so symbolic. It is right in line with the image of the white colonist forcing himself upon a country and just taking whatever he wants.

Richard Gere should pay the ultimate price for this.

What bothers me however is those who would blame Shilpa Shetty for this.

Too often women victims of rape in India are blamed for what happened like they wanted the rape to happen or it was their fault the rape happened even when the truth might be that the rapists brutalized them and they couldn't stop the rape from happening.

While of course Richard Gere didn't actually rape Shilpa Shetty, I still see this whole "Blame the Woman Victim" dynamic in place. From what I saw from the video Shilpa Shetty did nothing to cause Richard Gere to act the way he did, and was in fact as shocked as everyone else was that he would act in such a disgraceful manner.

We need to defend this daughter of India, not blame her for this white man's assault upon her.