India hates Richard Gere

India hates Richard Gere

Angry Indians burned and beat effigies of Richard Gere after he hugged Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty and then kissed her on the hand and cheeks numerous times at an HIV/AIDS awareness event. Suffice to say, the public display of affection, largely taboo in the country, has caused outrage.

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!”

Effigy burning isn’t too common in America, even though it sounds pretty cool. They should do one for all the socialites here. They can make the effigy 5 ft tall and set fire to it on their doorstep. Everyone will get the hint except Paris Hilton. She’ll think it was from her fans and suffer third degree burns hugging it.

The cool part of the story is the event was to highlight the growing epidemic of HIV/AIDS among India’s truck drivers. That’s like holding an event for dog attacks against paraplegic mailmen. Ok, not quite the same, but if the truck drivers were in wheelchairs it would be.

By the way, these photos aren’t from the event.

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  • DIC Celebrity Gossip

    I’ve seen the video, and I really have no idea what the fuss is all about.

  • Anonymous

    You have to understand cross-cultural issues to understand what the “fuss” is about. India is not America by any means. It’s a country full of old traditions. PDA is taboo there – you just don’t do it.

    What disturbs me greatly is that Hollywood celebrities all try to get involved as “international ambassadors” and make fools of themselves. Look at Angelina Jolie and her U.N. folies. It’s a joke. If Richard Gere tries to act intelligent and wants to pretend he’s educated in foreign affairs and social issues globally, then read up on them before embarassing himself internationally. But I guess we’re so sheltered in America that we don’t look at the outside world nor do we want to learn about it. Even Colin Powell made a fool of himself time and time again on the international stage even as Secy of State. He was a disgrace in such a high position, so I guess it would be silly to expect too much of Richard Gere.

  • Swapnil

    I dont know whats the big deal..

    I stay in India too and there should be a cultural change here..

    You cant stay with the same culture man..You are in the 21st century..If you have to lead the world you have to change…

  • Scott

    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.

  • Scott

    Most of the people in America I talk to hates Richard Gere too so India need not feel alone in hating Gere.

  • Pete


    Richard Gere kissed a woman in public and there’s an arrest warrant out for him?

    India has the 3rd largest military in the world and growing at an unprecedented scale with no external threat.

    Logic: In India you can kill people but you can’t hug them.

    Culture or Ignorance?

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