Monday, June 04, 2007
Open Letter To Richard Gere
All those who have been following the outcome of the "Richard Gere- Shilpa Shetty Kiss" several weeks back will find this perspective interesting and maybe even agree on what the writer, Sudhir M, has to say about it. Incidentally my friend Suman mailed me the letter a few days back. Here is Sudhir:
Dear Mr Gere,
On behalf of the Indian people I regret to inform you that your offer to apologise for violating the modesty of an Indian lady is rejected!
We, the people of India, do not accept such acts of lewdness and open display of affection in public. What you did was morally wrong and socially unacceptable in India and has hurt the feelings of every Indian.
Let me demonstrate to you the enormity of your error. Even Vatsayana, in his epic Kamasutra, has not dared to depict any kissing scenes. He explains and depicts various positions for sexual intercourse but none for kissing. Likewise, our temples all over and Khajuraho in particular depict explicit sexual scenes but none of male and female forms are ever shown kissing each other. This kind of intimacy is simply not acceptable. That is why you will never see men and women kiss each other in India.
We are proud that we do not engage in visible exhibition of our affection. We have other ways of showing our caring love and affection and respect for women. Mostly, we show our respect for women by raping them. At times it is done in groups of several men which is our way of paying tribute to the strength of the female form that it requires enormous effort by men to subdue.
We also love and respect our women enough that we force them to get a handsome dowry from their parents at the time of wedding and then throughout her life. This is done to ensure that she is able to lead a comfortable life. If for whatever reasons, the parents are unable to fund the dowry requirements, we normally tend to kill our brides by burning them or pushing them from the roof a tall building or force them to commit suicide to save them from discomfort and guilt that she was unable to provide a comfortable life to her husband and his parents and his uncles and aunts and his nephews and nieces etc.
Mr Gere, in India, the female form is equated with Devi i.e. Goddess. We very firmly believe in this and that is why we have no hesitation in piling her with all responsibilities, hard work and hardships. In many parts of our country, when a man dies, his wife is expected and made to self immolate only to save her from the guilt of not having been able to protect and save her husband despite of her being a form of goddess.
I hope it has become abundantly clear to you that we care and respect our women enough that we cannot accept your immoral behaviour. Had you proceeded to rape Ms Shetty (with a condom on, of course, in line with your prevention of AIDS advocacy), we would probably not have found the act as offensive. While you would be in trouble with the law, the people of India would have not had any issue with you as this is a common occurrence for them.
I hope you have learnt your lesson and in future rape an Indian woman before engaging in the heinous act of kissing her in public. We could be in trouble with law in both cases but at least if you rape her, people will not say that you are inhuman, insensitive and immoral. Moreover, in case you do commit a rape, the law is likely to take a while to catch up with you because unlike kissing in public there are so many rapes happening everyday. And then you are likely to get off on a technicality.
Sudhir M is a common man from the streets of India and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org