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Maciamo
27-04-07, 09:30
BBC News : Gere faces Indian arrest warrant (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/6596163.stm)


An Indian court has issued an arrest warrant for Hollywood actor Richard Gere after he kissed Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty in public.

Gere, 57, kissed Shetty, 31, several times on the cheek at an Aids awareness event in Delhi earlier this month.

The court in Jaipur in Rajasthan state called it "an obscene act", after a local lawyer filed a complaint.
...
"What can one say, when three pecks can be made into an issue in the land of the Kama Sutra? People should concentrate on the bigger issue of Aids, rather than this."
...
Under Indian law, a person convicted of public obscenity faces up to three months in prison, a fine or both.

It is amazing that a country known for its tolerance (all the world's main religions coexist relatively peacefully), its philosophical enlightenment, and above all the Kama Sutra, should have such backward laws when it comes to displays of affection in public.

I have been to India for a few months, part of it with my wife. I do not recall clearly, but we might have kissed in public, and certainly held hands or showed some affection.

I do not see how cheek-kissing, which constitutes a daily greeting between both sexes in Latin cultures (esp. French speaking culture, where even men cheek kiss between them), can be seen as "obscene" in India, at this advanced age of globalisation.

Most Indians educated enough to know something about the law have a PC and are connected to the Internet, i.e. to the outside world. India is in fact well known for its high IT development compared to its overall economic development.

What is more, it is very common for Indian men to hold hands and hug in public, which I find more obscene than a man and a woman cheek kissing. Yet, as the BBC says :


Public displays of affection are still largely taboo in India, and protestors in Mumbai (Bombay) set fire to effigies of Gere following the incident.

So men showing affections between them is fine, but when a man and a woman do it in relation to an AIDS campaign, that's prohibited ! How do they even teach about AIDS, or sex in general, in Indian schools ? What about the pornographic Kama Sutra statues all over the temples in places like Khajuraho (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khajuraho). That's not obscene, but a peck on the cheek is !

I suggest that Gere & Co file a complain of human rights abuse against the Indian government for denying them (and others) a fundamental right through a totally unfair and biased law. Imagine if French, Italian or Spanish-speaking tourists, which are numerous in India, face a risk of imprisonment for greeting each others with a peck the morning... A country with such an abusive law cannot be called a 'free country'.

Silverbackman
25-05-07, 02:19
Maciamo, you are partially right that India is intolerant to a certain degree. Isn't it a paradox that the land of the kuma sutra and more erotic art than most other civilizations have the most repressed laws when it comes to sex. And kissing is taboo in their film industry. How is all this possible?

The answer of course lies in foreign cultural influence/imperialism over the past 500 years. When the Muslim mughals invaded India the Muslim view of sex was to a certain degree quite influential on views of sex and sexuality.

However the damage to India's more free sexuality was nothing compared to the influence of the Christian British. Even the Muslim Mughals didn't force homosexuals off their land and make it a criminal defense......the British did this. In fact homosexuality is illegal in India under the crime of "sodomy". WTF? How on Earth did a Christian law end up in a majority Hindu country? And why is India so prude compared to the past?

The answer of course is that modern India's view on sex is more Abrahamic or Christian than Hindu. Sex isn't considered "shameful" or "dirty" in Hinduism, this is largely a Christian concept. In fact modern Indian society and its view toward sex is closer to old Europe's view toward sex than Europe itself!

If only modern Indians realize that their views on sex are based on Christianity and not on Hinduism, they would return to a more erotic and sexually tolerant society. And this of course is far more healthier than repressing sex.

Maciamo
25-05-07, 12:40
Good point about Christian morality. But how comes that India was influenced for some 250 years by the Brits, then suddenly stopped evolving after the independence ? How comes the Indian ruling class, still mostly educated in Britain, did not adapt the law in parallel to what was done in the UK, or in the rest of the Western world in general ? Could they have done that on purpose to look backwards ? Why would they do that ?

I guess that once a country changes political administration anything can happen. Look at Japan, which had its whole political and educational system copied on that of the US after WWII, then stopped evolving once the US withdrew from Japan in 1957. In consequence, a lot of things in Japanese society are just like the US or Europe were in the 1950's. It is still frowned upon to live with your partner before marriage, women are still expected to quit their jb and become housekeepers after marrying, children wear uniforms to go to school, etc. It's funny because, like India's Victorian prudeness, these are also not traditional Japanese things, but all old-fashioned Western concepts.

Silverbackman
30-05-07, 09:42
Good point about Christian morality. But how comes that India was influenced for some 250 years by the Brits, then suddenly stopped evolving after the independence ? How comes the Indian ruling class, still mostly educated in Britain, did not adapt the law in parallel to what was done in the UK, or in the rest of the Western world in general ? Could they have done that on purpose to look backwards ? Why would they do that ?

Those are good questions. I think it has to do with when the Republic of India was founded, and that the political structure is largely unchanged since then. And since British influence has largely ended in India (at least compared to when it was a colony), the local culture was more preserved. And despite many Indians being educated in Britain these days, they did grow up in a culture where kissing was forbidden in movies and where "sodomy is a crime against nature". They most likely carry this view while in a British university all the way back to India when they graduate. And of course many others are now educated in India's universities such as IIT.

Speaking of Indian movies, if you notice the movies are a lot more like the musical scene in movies 50 years ago. So is some of the acting in some ways (though it does vary). When the guy in "Gone with the Wind" hollers "Quite frankly Scarlett, I don't give a damn.", it sparked a similar controversy in the West decades ago. The same reaction was taken by Indians toward the Gere kissing incident.


I guess that once a country changes political administration anything can happen. Look at Japan, which had its whole political and educational system copied on that of the US after WWII, then stopped evolving once the US withdrew from Japan in 1957. In consequence, a lot of things in Japanese society are just like the US or Europe were in the 1950's. It is still frowned upon to live with your partner before marriage, women are still expected to quit their jb and become housekeepers after marrying, children wear uniforms to go to school, etc. It's funny because, like India's Victorian prudeness, these are also not traditional Japanese things, but all old-fashioned Western concepts.

Yes they are. And it kind of sucks in some ways because such prude old fashioned Western thinking is in my opinion un-healthy.

Japan was a lot more lucky though, unlike India they weren't colonized for 150-200 years. America's occupation of Japan was so short by comparison, and that was the only time Japan was ever colonized. As a result Japan has preserved most of its cultural and artistic institutions (except for clothing and architecture).......though as of late they are starting to conform somewhat to the West's moralist approached (at least in the politics sphere). An example of this is the recent ban on mushrooms as well the ban on some virtual porn (even though none of these activities harms other people).

I also hear that smoking weed was a pretty big practice in Japan before the worldwide ban. This is obviously a Western influence as well. And I'm not sure whether Japan would have had a AOC if it wasn't for the West (though this isn't necessarily a bad thing, depending on how you look at it, but definitely a modern Western concept).

Maciamo
21-06-07, 09:35
India has definitely lost all connections with the time of history when Kamasutra made its fame. There is no a national debate as whether vibrating condoms should be allowed (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6221540.stm), as all sex toys are banned in India !!

If they think that acting more Victorian the Queen Victoria is going to make their country look good in the 21st century...

Silverbackman
14-07-07, 18:25
India has definitely lost all connections with the time of history when Kamasutra made its fame. There is no a national debate as whether vibrating condoms should be allowed (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6221540.stm), as all sex toys are banned in India !!
If they think that acting more Victorian the Queen Victoria is going to make their country look good in the 21st century...

Yea....India has to get rid of their Western obsession and return to their true sex and drug using selves! Just like how Europe found its ancient Greco-Roman legacy during the Renaissance, India must find its ancient Gupta and Chola roots and have crazy European sex.

Maciamo
14-07-07, 20:54
Yea....India has to get rid of their Western obsession and return to their true sex and drug using selves! Just like how Europe found its ancient Greco-Roman legacy during the Renaissance, India must find its ancient Gupta and Chola roots and have crazy European sex.

That's one way of putting it. :D