The Indian love for rioting


by Sunny
18th April, 2007 at 1:31 am    

When 16-year-old Rukku Khushi came to the Star News office at Mahalakshmi with 23-year-old Abdul Kadir, all the way from Surat on April 13, the story was simple: A Hindu minor was in love with a Muslim boy.

But on Monday, soon after the couple had gone on national television, the channel’s Mumbai office was attacked by men belonging to a little-known outfit called the Hindu Rashtra Sena. They ransacked the office, smashed windows and beat up two guards, accusing the channel of negative portrayal of the Hindu girl from Surat “kidnapped” by her companion. [Indian Express]

And on top of that…

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 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!” [INS News]

There can only be two explanations:
1) There are too many Indian men with time on their hands.
2) Both incidents illustrate the need for Indian men to regulate and control the actions of Indian women.

Update: I am making a generalisation here, almost sarcastically, but perhaps I should elaborate and provide context. The protests and rioting are standard policy for the Hindu far-right, including organisations such as the VHP and Shiv Sena. They are always the ones that protest against Valentines and other “slurs on Indian culture” with such protests, which basically equates to saying: “how dare these women do something we disapprove of“. They are, as some point out in the comments, sexually and intellectually challenged. The vast majority of Indian males don’t get involved in any riot of course, these are almost always precipitated by organised religious groups (as is the case for most of South Asia).

I wanted to highlight these events not because they’re funny or idiotic, or pretend far worse isn’t happening in South Asia, but because they are part of a pattern of trying to control and subjugate women – a topic not really discussed when such events take place.


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  1. beha — on 18th April, 2007 at 4:09 am  

    ]Its simple really, indian men and most south east asian
    men in general are frustrated cuckolds. Mob violence is a natural outlet

  2. SP — on 18th April, 2007 at 8:41 am  

    Amen!!!!

  3. Sam Ambreen — on 18th April, 2007 at 10:06 am  

    I reckon they just wanted to be on telly again.

  4. sonia — on 18th April, 2007 at 10:37 am  

    yes definitely the bit about control. that’s what Kavita was talking about in the other article you linked to and that’s precisely the big problem. and not just indian men too.

    its what forced marriage is tied up with, honour killings all the same sort of stuff.

    but about the rioting..well yeah, we definitely love that sort of thing. it’s all those bollywood movies we watch, no?

    “down with shilpa shetty’ – but if the BB house people had been chanting that, they would’ve been accused of being nasty ra-cist bullies! why aren’t we saying the same of the Varansi-ites?

  5. Rumbold — on 18th April, 2007 at 10:48 am  

    Really good article on the experiences of a Hindu journalist who married a Muslim:

    http://www.ibnlive.com/blogs/suhasinihaidar/218/38603/keeping-the-faith.html

    “It’s a well known fact that the moment an inter-religious (read Hindu-Muslim) couple registers an intention to marry under the special marriages act at the local court- and their names go up on the board, a series of organizations go into action. United in the belief that an inter-religious marriage is about much more than the couple involved, and a destruction of religion itself, they find ways of contacting and intimidating the bride and groom to be, their families, and anyone else they can find.”

    It is possible that there are only about 40 people who ever riot in India, and they function as a rent-a-mob, travelling out to wherever they are needed. But it is not just attitudes to women. Look at all the cricketers’ houses that were attacked after the world cup.

    I suspect that it is more to do with the hot climate.

  6. Sid Love — on 18th April, 2007 at 11:45 am  

    Maybe they were simply die-hard members of the Official Shilpa Shetty Fan Club.

    But personally speaking, who cares. There are far more extraordinary events unfolding in all four nations of the subcontinent right now.

  7. The Common Humanist — on 18th April, 2007 at 11:51 am  

    Is it me or does India increasingly resemble Britain in about 1900?

  8. Jagdeep — on 18th April, 2007 at 12:40 pm  

    Yeah beha you are right — your analysis is definitely simple.

    I’m sure they have the same dozen men, unemployed alcoholics, who stomp their feet for a few bottles of beer, whenever a right wing political group wants to get on the TV —- that does not constitue a riot. One billion people get on with their lives.

  9. Anna — on 18th April, 2007 at 1:33 pm  

    But personally speaking, who cares. There are far more extraordinary events unfolding in all four nations of the subcontinent right now.

    Why do statements like this only come up in discussions about women’s issues?

  10. Sid Love — on 18th April, 2007 at 1:42 pm  

    Anna, I’m not belittling women’s issues. But how do you figure the news of a few boorish losers burning effigies triggered by Shilpa Shetty getting snogged by Richard Gere, to be about women’s issues?

    The Indian subcontinent is going through a sea change in the democratic polity of Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh which affects 1.5 billion people at least. Please excuse me if you think that Richard Gere getting frisky on Shilpa trumps that.

  11. Nav — on 18th April, 2007 at 1:54 pm  

    One billion people get on with their lives.

    My sentiments exactly…

  12. Sunny — on 18th April, 2007 at 2:01 pm  

    Yes, far worse does keep happening around South Asia. But a lot of women also get killed and raped in South Asia because the system simply does not give high priority to male-on-female violence or simply accepts it as part of the culture.
    That needs to be challenged and that is a very important human rights issue, one that has huge ramifications for the sub-continent.

  13. Anna — on 18th April, 2007 at 2:05 pm  

    I think Sunny made it fairly clear that he was talking about an issue larger than just the Shilpa story. Over half of those 1.5 billion people you’re talking about are women and are affected by the problems brought up in this post.

    And seriously, political blogs constantly focus on a wide range of issues, and never do people bring up the “we have more important things to talk about” card expect when the subject of women comes up. I think we’re all intelligent people and capable of caring about many worthy issues at once. Don’t you?

  14. Sid Love — on 18th April, 2007 at 2:08 pm  

    Then I’d suggest articles on dowry killings of young brides, acid-maiming of women spurning male advances or the position of women in Pakistani and Bangladeshi society amongst other things to highlight that. Because from my reading of the above article, focusing on the antics of a few bollywoody weasels and their effigy-burning fans isn’t cutting the mustard.

  15. sonia — on 18th April, 2007 at 2:24 pm  

    a kiss on the cheek hardly constitutes a snog.. :-)

  16. sonia — on 18th April, 2007 at 2:25 pm  

    sid makes a point in no.14. everyone’s obsessed with what celebrities are up to – i suppose the indian ones like to make a bigger deal.

  17. Jagdeep — on 18th April, 2007 at 2:28 pm  

    a kiss on the cheek hardly constitutes a snog..

    That’s what I said in complaint to Mrs Jagdeep last night.

  18. Sid Love — on 18th April, 2007 at 2:41 pm  

    You’ve all heard the urban myth about Richard Gere. Maybe he thought she was a big rodent…

  19. Kismet Hardy — on 18th April, 2007 at 2:41 pm  

    “Maybe they were simply die-hard members of the Official Shilpa Shetty Fan Club.”

    As the president of the club, I can confirm that maybe you’re right

    Sonia, it wasn’t a little kiss. He manhandled her. Imagine if i did that to you on the tube.

    Sign my petition

    http://www.Save-Shilpas-Reputation-from-HIV-spreading-Buddhist-Gigolo.com

    I know Leon will sign up :-)

  20. Kismet Hardy — on 18th April, 2007 at 2:44 pm  

    On a serious note, the only time poor (and I mean poverty-striken rather than oh woe) Indians have their voices heard is when they demonstrate or lynch. Which is worrying for the government should there be a revolution there, so they let them burn stuff instead

  21. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 18th April, 2007 at 2:51 pm  

    This has lead me to think, is there a business oppotunity here? I’m thinking of a website that can quickly design and ship high quality effigies that are the right size and shape of the target in question. I’ve noticed that it is often difficult to identify the person that the mob is meant to be burning and in the 21st century we ought hold the mob to a higher standard than this.

    As a dedicated armchair policital activist whose interest in demonstrations is disminshed with the thought of leaving the front door of my flat, I feel that myself and my online peers are missing out on the important political statement of burning of effigies that has proven so popular over the years and thoughout the world.

    Here comes my lastest idea: online effigie burning! I see a service where multiple participents log into a web site until they reach a threshold and form a “baying mob”, at this point participents can vote and select a person or persons and have them burned online. Once the burning and the chanting commenses an series of emails can be sent to the relavent parties, the burner, the burnees and various news outlets.

    What do you think? Does this idea have merit? Ought it be built into the next version of skype? could it give Second Life a much need purpose?

    TFI

  22. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 18th April, 2007 at 3:05 pm  

    Here it is, he is a bit of a nob …

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXyCPy60yvk

    I’m upset, because I fancy Shilpa and I’m jealous.

    TFI

  23. Kismet Hardy — on 18th April, 2007 at 3:20 pm  

    TFI, ooh what would you call it?

    eff-of.com

    effigy.spot.com

    burn hollywood burn.com

    You need a better name obviously

  24. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 18th April, 2007 at 3:28 pm  

    I’m thinking http://www.effigy-online.com

    With the strap line:

    “effigy-online – for all your effigy burning needs”.

    or

    “effigy-online – BURN BABY! BURN1″

    Perhaps a little DIY section, for enthusiasts.

    Also smaller ones for you to burn in the privacy of your own home? to take home afterwards?

    Also perphaps a side line in T-shirts: “I burned Richard Gere” and badges to sell to the crowd.

    TFI

  25. Jagdeep — on 18th April, 2007 at 3:29 pm  

    You could burn effigies of Muslims, TFI — great idea!

  26. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 18th April, 2007 at 3:40 pm  

    Well Jagdeep, I think that Osama’s beard would make great kindleing and it is far more practical than trying to find him.

    I might help our American friends to burn off some frustration with invading foriegn countries.

    You joke with me, but I’m begining to think that I may be holding the answer for World Peace!

    TFI

  27. Jagdeep — on 18th April, 2007 at 3:48 pm  

    I not joke with you!

  28. Soso — on 18th April, 2007 at 3:55 pm  

    Richard Gere is talentless lump of flesh.

  29. Leon — on 18th April, 2007 at 4:04 pm  

    I know Leon will sign up

    Like fuck I will! :P

  30. Katherine — on 18th April, 2007 at 4:05 pm  

    What Richard Gere did was outrageous. He stepped far far over the line, and Shilpa Shetty was clearly extremely uncomfortable with his manhandling of her. “Bit of a nob” doesn’t quite cover it. And really, I wouldn’t be jealous over what is near-as-dammit assault.

    The thing that really boggles my mind is that this has translated into protests against Shilpa Shetty herself, which says a great deal about the protesters’ view on male and female sexuality and control. Richard Gere is clearly the aggressor, yet Shilpa Shetty is being accused of… what? Apparently, being female and in the eye-line of a horny man, which is clearly her fault for just being there. She is made to be responsible for the sexual act of a man.

    This is a deeply insidious and not unusual construction of female/male relations, to be found in its most extreme form in the “she asked for it by wearing a short skirt” response to rape.

    I don’t doubt that such men would subscribe to the “cat food” version of gender relations.

  31. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 18th April, 2007 at 4:06 pm  

    Come now Jagdeep, thats not fair.

    I’d happily burn an effigy of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in an attempt to reach out and identify with the radicals in Iran and Palestine, people who truely understand the theaputic benefits of a baying mob and good wholesome burning to help bond the community together.

    I’d also agree to burning an effigy of a radical Muslim holding a placard saying “Death to England” or simuliar as a simple expression of my disagreement with the sentiment of that proposal.

    But I would never agree to burning an effigy of the nice smiling chap that sells me my newspaper in the morning, or the fit Muslim girl here at work, although no burning effigy could ever be as hot as she is.

    TFI

  32. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 18th April, 2007 at 4:10 pm  

    Richard Gere is talentless lump of flesh.

    I would agree but he is excellent in Chicago.

    And really, I wouldn’t be jealous over what is near-as-dammit assault.

    I’m not, heard of the expression, tongue in cheek?

    TFI

  33. Katherine — on 18th April, 2007 at 4:15 pm  

    “heard of the expression, tongue in cheek” – yeah, and I think it segues perfectly with Anna’s point above the belittlement of women’s issues when they are brought up.

  34. Jagdeep — on 18th April, 2007 at 4:16 pm  

    You remind me of Amir, TFI :-)

    No, I think your effigy burning isnt a good idea. It’s like watching porn, not as much fun as the real thing.

    I wish there was more effigy burning in protests here though. Oh yeah we already do, every November 5th we burn Catholics.

  35. Jagdeep — on 18th April, 2007 at 4:18 pm  

    Actually Katherine, I don’t think the unemployed loafers were targetting Shilpa, they were targetting the officer and Gentleman himself.

  36. Jagdeep — on 18th April, 2007 at 4:19 pm  

    Weren’t targetting Shilpa, I should say.

  37. Rumbold — on 18th April, 2007 at 4:24 pm  

    You were right the first time Jagdeep. Otherwise it would be a double negative. Sorry.

  38. Jagdeep — on 18th April, 2007 at 4:25 pm  

    Uh yeah, you’re right. Well spotted. That’s what you get when you do two things at once.

  39. Rumbold — on 18th April, 2007 at 4:27 pm  

    Best we leave the multi-tasking up to the women, eh?

  40. Sid Love — on 18th April, 2007 at 4:28 pm  

    I think this is outrageous. And the fact that there has not been as article about it on PP even more so.

    So why should the dismissal of the contrived arse-grabbing by a pair of non-representational celebrities speak more about women’s issues in the subcontinent than the plight of these non-celebrities who never had effigies burned in their honour?

  41. Jagdeep — on 18th April, 2007 at 4:29 pm  

    I burn your effigy for saying such a thing Rumbold!

  42. Jagdeep — on 18th April, 2007 at 4:31 pm  

    Right I’m off work for a couple of weeks, see ya’ll later.

  43. El Cid — on 18th April, 2007 at 4:35 pm  

    Effigy burning, flag burning….. That modern TV news for you. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  44. Rumbold — on 18th April, 2007 at 4:36 pm  

    Ha ha Jagdeep.

    To be fair Sid, it is a 2003 article. It is terrible that these things happen, and in fact it does link in with this thread, because it is another manifestation of how badly women are treated in the sub-continent.

  45. Sid Love — on 18th April, 2007 at 4:38 pm  

    Rumbold, I don’t think you are aware of how commonplace acid-maiming is in the subcontinent.

  46. Rumbold — on 18th April, 2007 at 4:44 pm  

    Sid, I certainly was not trying to defend or play down the horrific injuries that these women have suffered. I was merely pointing out that your example and the Shilpa Shetty incident are linked because of prevailing attitudes to women, though obviously they are on are completly different scale.

  47. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 18th April, 2007 at 4:50 pm  

    “heard of the expression, tongue in cheek” – yeah, and I think it segues perfectly with Anna’s point above the belittlement of women’s issues when they are brought up.

    Richard Gere has shown that he is not an international statesman and has zero grip on foriegn cultures, he has shown as much cultural sensitivity as Prince “slitty eye” Philip.

    Katherine, here is another expression, “storm in a tea cup”, this isn’t about women’s issues as about a womans issue.

    I cannot get angry about this one, I suspect that like the BB thing it will only serve her well by increasingly her notoriety, such is the life of a celebrity.

    However if you want to get angry about something I think that Sid Love has provided much better matterial.

    TFI

  48. Anna — on 18th April, 2007 at 4:54 pm  

    Sid, I feel like you’re trying to build a painfully straw man argument. WHO here is arguing that we should care more about Shilpa than dowry deaths and the like? No one. I think Rumbold is correct to point out that the whole POINT of talking about incidents like this is not because we care more about celebrities, but because we’re highlighting a generally misogynistic cultural problem. It is all connected. It really doesn’t make sense to imply that because we’re talking about one thing we don’t care about the other thing. (It reminds me of the argument that western women shouldn’t complain about inequality because feminists should focus their attention on more dire situations in the developping world like FGM. Because we can’t be activists on both?)

    Which brings me to a point: I am sure that you have the best of intentions in trying to redirect our attentions to the more forgotten elements of the subcontinental world, but there is something that really gets me when people tell me what I, as a feminist, should and should not care about. It’s prescriptive and condescending, and once again as I mentioned in my other posts, it rarely happens in regards to other political issues.

  49. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 18th April, 2007 at 4:55 pm  

    Or Ayaan Hirsi Ali who gets a terrible beating over here at PP as she is rude about “That Religion” which is much more important that any work she does for womans rights.

    You see there is plenty of hypocrisy on this site.

    TFI

  50. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 18th April, 2007 at 4:58 pm  

    Is this acid in the face incident recent enough?

    http://tinyurl.com/vjsoz

    TFI

  51. Sid Love — on 18th April, 2007 at 4:59 pm  

    Anna, I’ll ask again:
    HOW do you figure the news of a few boorish losers burning effigies triggered by Shilpa Shetty getting publicly man-handled by Hollywood celebrity Richard Gere, to be about women’s issues in India?

  52. sonia — on 18th April, 2007 at 5:04 pm  

    have a brilliant time jagdeep you won’t cause any trouble will you ..

  53. Twining or Black in Blue — on 18th April, 2007 at 5:09 pm  

    Do dowry deaths still exist and is this the same as death when one’s husband dies? As for Richard Gere, well he probably fancies Shilpa Shetty. As for me, no comment… there I am afraid. Give Shetty some credit. She has done something positive about racism as has Jade, who went to India of her own accord, unlike some of the others. And Shetty is a bit like Diana I guess.

    Jagdeep, I do suspect Mrs Jagdeep is a little unhappy. Bring on equality I say. Have you noticed how most Hindus remain apathetic to racism and these issues? Hmm wonder why? I said it to a middle aged Hindu woman and she said I was not fit to be an anti racist activist. I mean I accused most Hindu’s, of which I am one, of being apathetic to the death of Stephen Lawrence, and therefore to the issue of racism.

    As for India, perhaps it’s because the men fear losing their perceived power. But they have moustaches! The burning of effigies was a bit much though. I never saw any burning effigies of Saddam Hussein, did you?

    Personally I feel Shetty has done much for race relations in this country. She’s brought out what we all know happens, yet something that organisations sweep under the carpet. By the way no one has commented about the picture of me on my blog. Can’t be that bad surely?

  54. Kismet Hardy — on 18th April, 2007 at 5:10 pm  

    It’s all bollocks really. there they are trying to spread HIV, I keep saying that, spread the word about HIV, and this shit takes it away from it all

    I think that’s what pisses off these rioters the most you know. They’re not getting any sex

  55. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 18th April, 2007 at 5:10 pm  

    Anna, Katherine.

    Take a deep breath and go over to the other thread “News roundup from the sub-continent”.

    Over there you will find an interesting and completely shocking piece, I quote:

    India’s top female civil servants are being asked to provide information about their menstrual cycles as part of a new job appraisal process, according to reports today. The All-India Services Performance Appraisal Rules 2007, intended for senior government staff to fill out, contains a three-page health section asking women for a “detailed menstrual history” as well as other personal information, such as when they last took maternity leave.

    Now that thread has had a grand total of 11 posts, none from either of you I note and is still open for comment.

    If you wish to express your horror at the institional sexism in India, that is a far more appilicable place to raise it.

    TFI

  56. Kismet Hardy — on 18th April, 2007 at 5:12 pm  

    Twining you lying decietful horrible, horrible man. Here you are pretending to be a black man in a police uniform and you turn out to be pink. And to think I’ve been harbouring fantasies of twining my thighs around you. I feel so dirty

  57. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 18th April, 2007 at 5:15 pm  

    I feel so dirty

    Confused, have you ever not felt that way?

    TFI

  58. Katherine — on 18th April, 2007 at 5:19 pm  

    Yes, TFI, I saw that. And no one on that post was seeking to belittle the issue and distract from the fact that it was about control over women’s bodies. I note in your comment at #40 that you merely state that this is not about women’s issues without actually providing any explanation as to why I should just take your word for that.

    I really don’t think I need your permission to post on this subject or any others. And I rather resent your implication that I (and Anna) are somehow being, what, hysterical about this?

    Sid Love – you could have a look at my post at #30 for my explanation as to why the targetting of Shilpa Shetty in these demos is about women’s issues.

    And Jagdeep, they were targetting Shilpa Shetty, as indicated by the second news report quoted by Sunny, wherein in says that the crowd chanted “Down with Shilpa Shetty”. Bit of a giveaway that.

  59. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 18th April, 2007 at 6:04 pm  

    I really don’t think I need your permission to post on this subject or any others. And I rather resent your implication that I (and Anna) are somehow being, what, hysterical about this?

    Katherine, feel free to resent my implication that you are being picked up by the media feeding frenzy and the cult of celebrity in your objection on this issue.

    What happens to a single woman is a woman’s issue, what happens to a group of women is a women’s issue.

    You are correctly arguing that that the reaction in India is endemic of a greater problem with attitudes towards women in India.

    I’ve not belittled anything on the other thread, because to me there is nothing to belittle. This “oh no, not more riots!” thread is of great amusement to me.

    The only reason anyone cares about this story is because it envoles celebraties. It will be over by the end of the week, and it will only increase Shilpa’s standing and wealth.

    If I want to get angry about Womens rights I will do so without it being dirtied by feeding celebrity egos.

    TFI

  60. Roger — on 18th April, 2007 at 6:36 pm  

    There is a third explanation: Indians are fond of riots and will riot if they have an excuse. Britain was once the same. In Decency and Disorder, Ben Wilson quotes a respectable middle-aged man who said ‘I don’t frequent the theatre, but I’m bloody fond of a riot.’ to explain why he- and others- rioted over the price of theatre tickets for sixty nine days in a row.
    This explanation does not mean the others are false,of course.

  61. William — on 18th April, 2007 at 6:51 pm  

    Gere is getting on a bit isn’t he. It looked like Shilpa was being molested by someones Grandad. Maybe that’s why they are upset.

  62. Twining or Black — on 18th April, 2007 at 7:25 pm  

    Kismet, God bless you, all will be revealed…I have struck many a good pose. Mine is a bit of a piss take on the Liberal Police establishment. And you think I am deceitful? Jesus Christ, you awnt to see and hear some of the “token” Black officer’s who line their pockets with cushy numbers in representing the National and local BPA’s. Some are mere puppets for the organisation. If their Chief says jump, they say, “Where to Boss!”

    Some do not wish to engage in the politics of race relation’s at all and the service consults with “tokens.” That’s deceit my dear. And my dear, alas I am not young anymore, though I am rather flattered. I am actually a Indian male best represented by this very tanned image you see of me and I thank you for taking the time to look.

    My wife will kill me if she reads what you have written. In fact she has caught me typing this and I have just been given a clip round the ear! Now that’s equality! You will see that I don’t fit the norm. I have called some Black people, as above, liars, and some White people too. Oh well, am off to nurse my ear, thanks to you….Sunny knows me well, you may ask him if I am genuine.

  63. Gibs — on 18th April, 2007 at 8:12 pm  

    A conspiracy theorist could argue that Richard Gere’s actions(kissing Shilpa Shetty) were part of some “Western plot” to show the world that despite the hype behind’s India’s claim to be “the next big economic superpower”, it is still a country that has lots of bigoted misogynists amongst its population.

    ……And the bigoted misogynists who burnt those effigies fell right into the trap – like the bone headed imbeciles that they are !

  64. Twining or Black — on 18th April, 2007 at 8:38 pm  

    “……And the bigoted misogynists who burnt those effigies fell right into the trap – like the bone headed imbeciles that they are!”

    Gibs, in applying your theory, your theorising would suggest we might have no bone headed bigoted imbeciles in this country in institutions up and down the country, and indeed in society?

    Hmmm this is quite miraculous and would further suggest these people must be just ignorant managers and ignorant people; not bigoted misogynists. You must therefore be right. What is a mis…. you know?

  65. Twining or Black in Blue — on 18th April, 2007 at 8:39 pm  

    Oh sugar, it’s done it again! Damn.

  66. Vikrant — on 18th April, 2007 at 8:59 pm  

    Heh! Since i havent yet managed to get a scolarship to those itsy-bitsy Ivy League unis in US, I’m considering setting up an inflammable effigy production business here in Mumbai, to finance my education!

  67. douglas clark — on 18th April, 2007 at 9:51 pm  

    Sunny,

    Just a thought here. It is always the case that rabble rousers can find a rabble to rouse. What is sad is that there are folk, so thick, so ‘up for it’ that they are the rousers’ rabble. The rabble are:

    Religious fruitcakes
    BNP supporters
    Al Quaida fans
    Groupies of any persuasion,
    Nationalist or Socialist,
    or both.
    And anti feminisists

    But worst of all are neo-con rabble
    ‘Cause they really do have a plan.

    What I like about the people who post here is that I doubt any-one of them would join a rabble. Not since being exposed to the PP innoculation.

    Chairwoman and Anas are chums, begod! Zin Zin is no longer a Isalamowhateveritwas! So, so far so good.

    (And Zin Zin, Anas and Chairwoman, I used you as the examples I am closest too, please do not take offence, I think you are all good people.)

    It is a small beginning, but is hugely important that folk talk, learn from each other and don’t become alienated. This is what the web can do. Specifically, this is what this web site does, and it is starting to stand out as unique for that reason. Which is a shame, really.

  68. Refresh — on 18th April, 2007 at 10:31 pm  

    “But worst of all are neo-con rabble
    ‘Cause they really do have a plan.”

    Take a bow TFI!

  69. sunray — on 18th April, 2007 at 11:05 pm  

    The commotion by the Indian public is OTT. Like they never committed any sin.

    BUT

    Indian Law does not allow Kissing or Sex in public place or events so there is case to be made against Gere.
    It wont be the first time either.
    The first court case I heard of was when a girl kissed Prince Charles back many years ago. Im sure she was a Bolly star as well.

    Since then many Bolly stars have been taken to court over their public indecency.

    Its a Law that must be upheld.
    Otherwise you’ll have every John Jani Janardhan kissing in public.

    Like it or not its a different culture and we have to abide by the Law.

  70. douglas clark — on 18th April, 2007 at 11:21 pm  

    sunray,

    Frankly, this is not the legal matter you care to make it. It is about two people being daft. Why do you hide behind stupid laws? If laws are ridiculous, then they deserve to be overturned.

    We have to abide by law until it becomes ludicrous.

    Which is quite about now

    Take the ‘witch laws’ that most of Europe and the benign USA believed right. Pish, I hope you would agree.

  71. lithcol — on 19th April, 2007 at 12:23 am  

    Now I would agree that having sex in public is not a good idea, possibly too arousing for onlookers, however having a snog seems pretty innocuous to me.

    Who in this country does not associate Spring with a stroll and a snog in the park?

    Wasn’t it Voltaire who admired the English practice of kissing? Come on you silly men have a snog, don’t riot.

  72. Anas — on 19th April, 2007 at 12:34 am  

    funny that in a country with obscene levels of poverty this is what people get worked up about.

  73. sunray — on 19th April, 2007 at 7:50 am  

    douglas
    Where does one draw a line between it was just a peck or it was not intentional or its was just a bit of fun or it was a kiss or it was passionate.
    The Law sees it as a kiss or not a kiss and is enforced as such otherwise it fails to be a Law.
    Its a good Law and should be upheld.

    lithcol
    there are lots of Laws we probably dont agree with but the fact that its there, it must be abided by.

    Anas
    what has poverty got to do with this event?

  74. realitist — on 19th April, 2007 at 8:13 am  

    The title is misleading. It should be “The Hindu love for rioting” because as we all know, they just _love_ to riot.

  75. Vikrant — on 19th April, 2007 at 8:49 am  

    #
    realitist — on 19th April, 2007 at 8:13 am

    The title is misleading. It should be “The Hindu love for rioting” because as we all know, they just _love_ to riot.

    Given your ironic name i wonder if this is some oxymoron…

  76. douglas clark — on 19th April, 2007 at 10:27 am  

    sunray,

    Have you actually seen the video? I am quite surprised that anyone could take that seriously. Still, you live and learn.

  77. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 19th April, 2007 at 10:49 am  

    Take a bow TFI!

    I’VE GOT FANS!!!

    TFI

  78. Anas — on 19th April, 2007 at 12:17 pm  

    what has poverty got to do with this event?

    Just that a kiss is supposedly considered obscene and has drawn up angry crowds in several Indian cities, whereas a sane person would find plenty other things that are genuinely obscene on the streets of these aforementioned cities.

  79. Kaalia — on 19th April, 2007 at 12:42 pm  

    india is an oxymoron! we all know it and we all are enchanted by it.

    india=world. everything/universal that exists and can be thought of happens in India!

  80. Kismet Hardy — on 19th April, 2007 at 1:17 pm  

    I think the title of this thread is a spelling mistake.

    The Indian love for roti-ing is I think what the author meant to say, but got confused by the hyphen, because rotiiing just looks wrong

    Indians love roti, also known as a chappati, which is a round bread made on a tawa. Which is something you place on fire

  81. Kismet Hardy — on 19th April, 2007 at 1:21 pm  

    …but then I do have a flourful imagination

  82. Katherine — on 19th April, 2007 at 1:21 pm  

    TFI – “What happens to a single woman is a woman’s issue, what happens to a group of women is a women’s issue.”

    Are you serious?! Really? So, something only becomes a women’s issue if it happens to a bunch of women. Okay, now, do you mean all at once? Cos then no incident of domestic violence could ever count as a women’s issue. Only mass public beatings.

    Or if you mean, one a time but lots of them, then trust me, lots of women are manhandled into situations they are not comfortable with just like this. It’s happened to me – is me and Shilpa Shetty enough to count as a group for you? Shall we do a count of the women commenting here – will that make up enough of a group to count as a women’s issue in your mind?

    And as for me getting caught up in the cult of celebrity – well, I’m not even going to bother with that, because you just don’t know me. One of my main point, and my argument as to why this was a women’s issue, was the reaction of the rioters. Celebrity or not, that demonstrates a disturbing attitude towards gender relations.

    My other point was to oppose the belittling of what Richard Gere did, with mention of jealousy and general laughter. Celebrity or not, belittling that kind of unpleasant, sexist behaviour is not big or funny.

  83. Kismet Hardy — on 19th April, 2007 at 1:27 pm  

    “india is an oxymoron”

    Sorry to get pedantic on your ass but to get an oxymoron, you need two seemingly contradictory words used together to get the desired rhetorical effect

    Unless the bollywood actress Dia mirza sews up her vagina, bum hole, mouth and all other openings and you say In Dia, then maybe but it’s not worth getting arrested in the name of syntax

  84. Kismet Hardy — on 19th April, 2007 at 1:30 pm  

    Katherine,

    With all due respect, Richard Gere acted like a luvvie with a fellow luvvie and followed up his manhandling with going down on bended knee and beholding her as a goddess. Creepy, yes. Disrespectful of a woman’s space, most certainly. But bracketing him in the same sexist, mysoginistic psycholsis that plagues the rape-lovin’ wife-beatin’ common Indian man hellbent on keeping the woman crushed and ground down is a bit ridiculous, no?

  85. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 19th April, 2007 at 1:52 pm  

    Katherine,

    Let me give you another recent example of news item about treatment of women that doesn’t involve celebrities.

    “Female Pakistani minister shot dead for ‘breaking Islamic dress code’”

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article1414137.ece

    Are you more or less angry about that incident? Or do Western Celebrities need to be involved before you notice current affairs or form an opinion of moral outrage?

    *tongue firmly placed in cheek*

    Seeing as you understand the cultural nuances of Pakistan and hold the knowledge of the moral compass there, could you make a comment on how you feel the Pushtin tribal code use of women in the resolution of family feuds?

    TFI

  86. soru — on 19th April, 2007 at 1:59 pm  

    So, something only becomes a women’s issue if it happens to a bunch of women.

    Are you assuming there’s a missing ‘not’ in the sentence you quoted?

  87. Kismet Hardy — on 19th April, 2007 at 2:11 pm  

    “So, something only becomes a women’s issue if it happens to a bunch of women”

    I know this woman. She enjoyed blowing up men’s bumholes in clubs. This is a fact, by the way. She’d go up to drugged up revellers and say do you want me to blow up your bum, and sure enough, they’d say yes and she’d blow up their bum. Bit of fun, you see. Cr-razy, like. Then one day, a bloke lost control and shat all over her face.

    Now this is one woman’s fucked up issue. It doesn’t happen to a bunch of women so, no, not quite what you’d call a women’s issue

  88. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 19th April, 2007 at 2:19 pm  

    Katherine,

    Sorry about that last post, it was rude and the link was to a different country from the one that we are discussing *ahem* *cough* *splutter*

    But really, who are you angry with in this story? the brash American showman that behaved inappropriately while hamming it on stage in front of a cheering crowd, or the men that rioted about it afterwards?

    If it is the actions of Richard Gere, he is an idiot – big deal, it doesn’t make him a rapist and the values that lead you to consider what assault is, might not be that same in places like Italy or Pakistan.

    If it is the reaction in India, why does it stand out amongst the FGM, honor killings, women being killed for non Islamic dress, asking female politicians to document their menstrual cycles? Etc etc

    TFI

  89. realitist — on 19th April, 2007 at 2:40 pm  

    look, lets stick to facts.
    This is a hindu thing to riot – why bring other indians into it?

  90. sonia — on 19th April, 2007 at 3:06 pm  

    what rubbish realitist, we’re just as good (if not better ha ha) at rioting in bangladesh which last time i looked was about 80% muslim. not having anything to do with your time is the key issue here. and yes – there are ‘mobs’ for hire in bangladesh. its good business rioting is

  91. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 19th April, 2007 at 3:24 pm  

    Mobile phones have greatly facilitated the mob and the ability to riot. Over in the Western world we had the amusing ‘flash mob’ movement, which involved pillow fights and the like, instead of riots.

    Modern technology is changing the world fast, although I don’t think that we can see this, only when things have settled down will the historians discuss the impact of the internet and mobile phones on politics.

    At the moment we are simple minded enough to blame what is happening in the Umma on Iraq, rather than the Net and mobile phones.

    If you noticed in the undercover mosque, that the infidel hating psycho clerics in Saudi can webcast their sermons of hatred directly into our Mosques, while the MCB writes in the Guardian how we should ‘we reach out to them’.

    What interesting times we live.

    TFI

  92. Kismet Hardy — on 19th April, 2007 at 3:45 pm  

    Realitits (are you related to my mate fakitits by any chance?). What a simple world you live in.

    Hindus riot
    Muslims blow themselves up
    Racists can’t spell

    I rioted once. It was the Poll Tax ones. I didn’t see a single samosa in a tiffin career or a ganesh being waved, mind

  93. sonia — on 19th April, 2007 at 4:23 pm  

    kismet you’re a barrel of laughs you are! fakitits indeedy!

  94. Antipholus Papps — on 19th April, 2007 at 4:42 pm  

    If only the English could take their cue from the Indians. We’ve got a hell of lot more to be rioting about!

  95. Scott — on 23rd April, 2007 at 2:57 am  

    For a society who 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.

  96. douglas clark — on 23rd April, 2007 at 5:59 am  

    Scott,

    What ‘ultimate price’, exactly?

  97. Leon — on 23rd April, 2007 at 10:31 am  

    I was just wondering that, the only meaning I know of for that term is death.

  98. Chairwoman — on 23rd April, 2007 at 10:47 am  

    I felt that Richard Gere’s action was both foolish and inappropriate.

    I am not sure, however, whether Scott’s hysterical outburst was rioting in print, or tongue-in-cheek.

  99. sonia — on 23rd April, 2007 at 11:08 am  

    oh for god’s sake let’s give it a rest. it’s no big deal – yeah richard gere should have known better. But still – the indian audiences are well used to embraces on the silver screen and men serenading women – it ought not to be such a big deal to them. Of course they’re making a big deal – they have nothing else to do with their time.

    as for the ‘colonialism’ factor – so a white guy does something and it’s automatically colonial? ridiculous.

  100. June — on 2nd May, 2007 at 11:15 am  

    l think all this matter is all out of control. l do think Gere was a little over the line,he was hugging her very hard to bend her down,it makes Gere looked like he can’t resist on her beauty.From looking at the vod,Shilpa’s reaction was very shock and you can see from some clips Shilpa ask Gere to let go.l thought she deal with it very well by laughed it off,she can’t tell Gere to F*off can she? he is a guest and doing lot for her country.All l can say Shilpa should’nt be blamed at ALL. l do agreed with Katherine first comment.

  101. Jeevan — on 19th May, 2007 at 1:30 am  

    This shouldn’t be so shocking, these men will probably not shake hands with a man they consider belongs to a lower caste. – If a man doesn’t get respect, we have a long wait for women to receive it, what’s worse they’ve passed these backward traditions onto ignorant Asians who have emigrated to Europe, and N.America.

    Backward, not uneducated, not in abject poverty(because those men have got a lot more pressing matters on their hands like plain survival) just sheep who want to flex their muscles for all to see.

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