back to article Arrest Richard Gere, orders Indian court

An Indian court has issued arrest warrants for Richard Gere and Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty, Reuters reports. The Jaipur court's action came in response to a complaint by local lawyer Poonam Chand Bhandari regarding Gere's "repeated kisses on Shetty's cheeks at an event to promote AIDS awareness in New Delhi" earlier this …


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  1. Mr D

    3 Months ?

    Damn ,.. Should of at least made it worth it and practiced "The Goose"

  2. Dan

    If ...

    ... kissing is an outrage then what is pretending to burn humans?

  3. Louis Lohman

    another example

    Another example of repressive and regressive attitudes regarding women. Apparently, as regards the Judge and those who would bring these charges, women are always and only considered in a sexual context - would that Indian women would realize the power of 'crossed legs'.

  4. adnim

    Understanding of foreign culture

    In such a global community where tolerance and respect regardless of merit, of another persons view point, religious indoctrination and culture is so important. Why is it that western culture is not respected in the East? Not that I see a great deal to respect btw.

    However it is acceptable (arguably) in Western society for Mr Gere to behave the way he did. It was entirely the responsibility of Ms Shetty to slap his face if she thought he was out of order.

    Now where is the tolerance to other culture (OK in this instance decadent Western culture) when we see effigies burned in the street, and calls for the arrest and presumably punishment for what was after all to western eyes, an innocent bit of fun or a dirty old man trying it on.

    Personally I feel a bit sick of being the only one doing any kind of tolerating. And if such behavior actually broke Indian law, then it's time for some legislative revision in my own humble, liberated and tolerant opinion.

  5. Liam


    "an outrage against her modesty and an affront to Indian culture"

    you mean the same culture that brought me my copy of the karma sutra? yes they are a shy and reserved nation.

  6. Morten Ranulf Clausen

    Do the Right Thing

    "...what is pretending to burn humans": the Right Thing to do in an age where religious fascists demand AND GET as much respect as those really worthy of emulation. We're sitting in a pile of dung of our own making. Repeat after me: I will not tolerate the intolerant...

  7. Dillon Pyron

    Afghanistan, 2000

    Of course, if they had been in Afghanistan in 2000, she'd be stoned and he'd be beheaded.

    BTW, anybody ever seen any of the friezes in the Indian temples. Makes Hustler look kind of plain.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well if they can...

    "... kissing is an outrage then what is pretending to burn humans?"

    I agree, let's find pictures of this so called judge, staple them to some straw effigies that are vaguely human shaped and traipse around various towns with them on fire... if "they" attempt to oppress us, we'll just accuse them of being racist.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Another example of repressive and regressive attitudes regarding women"

    Yeah, that's why they're arresting a man and burning effigies of him.

    This is repression of sexuality in general, not any particular gender. They're terrified by the idea that someone can freely practice what they aren't allowed by their traditions and/or religion.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "repeated kisses on Shetty's cheeks"

    And who can blame him for getting a bit out of control with la Shetty?

    Being of the old fart persuasion myself I can easily see the temptation. (lucky sod).

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Might those be them radical nationalist Hindu brothers? Make no mistake, they are the Real Stuff. Running bloody pogroms against local Muslim minorities is one of their favorite pastimes. Will Richard have to get ready for the Hindu equivalent of a fatwa?

  12. Keith Langmead

    One rule for us, another for them?

    Why is it we expect people from other countries and cultures who come to live in our country to live as we do, abide by our laws and have the same social values as we do, yet when another country has laws which conflict with our views we think they should be changed?

    No I don't particular agree with this particular law in India, to me it seems quite silly, but that's not the point. In India it's the law, and the responsibility is on the person entering that country to understand, respect and abide by those laws.

    After all, consider a more extream example. The age of consent differs around the world, commonly from between 14 and 18 (while some are lower there tends to be stipulations that both partners are of similar ages). If someone (I'm assuming an adult for this) from a country where the age of consent is 14 came to the UK, and had sex with a 14 year old girl, should that person be arrested for statutory rape as is our law, or let off because in their home country it's OK?

    Mr Gere should in theory have known better, after all ignorance isn't a defense, though I think it could certainly be argued that Ms Shetty should have known better, and stopped it from happening.

  13. Andy Bright

    No kissing cheeks..

    But we're fine with falsely accusing your wife of adultery, burning her alive and hooking up with someone else.

    Tolerant societies like this deserve nothing but our deepest respect.

    And yes, adnim is bang on saying we are hammered when we don't respect the cultural behaviour of other societies, but are never given the same courtesy in return.

    Often we don't deserve much courtesy, and we did fuck over most of what we called the 3rd world (developing nations). But while people like Richard Gere may live in their own artificial Hollywood worlds, at least they do try to make up for the wrongs visited on poorer nations.

    They try to highlight genocide, disease, hunger and poverty. They try to make a difference. A lot of what they do might be bollox, but at least they try to do the right thing.

    He was there to help their fight against Aids, and his reward for not understanding their culture was to be sentenced to 3 months in jail. I know there's more than a few people in India with a significantly more tolerant outlook on life, so perhaps they could help right this stupidity.

  14. chaosvoyager

    I don't even tolerate my OWN cultural 'values'

    This reminds me of that time when Janet Jackson had that wardrobe malfunction. Unlike this, it was claimed to be an 'accident', and yet look at how America overreacted.

    It's embarrassing.

    And India...wasn't that the culture where widows were expected to burn with their husband's corpse before the British took over? And how's that caste system working out?

    Seriously, there is a great deal of value in the culture of India that is worthy of respect, but there is also a great deal broken. No culture is perfect, and we need to be able to discuss our cultures in something other than absolutes.

    "He was there to help their fight against Aids, and his reward for not understanding their culture was to be sentenced to 3 months in jail. I know there's more than a few people in India with a significantly more tolerant outlook on life, so perhaps they could help right this stupidity."

    I agree.

    Finally, there are some who say ignorance of the law is not an excuse. However, at this point the legal systems in industrialized nations is such that really the only people who are not ignorant of the law are lawyers, and we've seen how much better the people who can afford good legal counsel do in court compared to those who cannot.

    In short, if ignorance of the law is not an excuse (or a defense), then only the wealthy will be able to work within it.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shetty Situation

    I'm thinking that Shetty/Gere would only have to avoid the Indian state of Rajasthan. I can't imagine any of the more enlightened states extraditing them for this "crime".

  16. Campbell

    Be civil

    "and duly "burned and kicked straw effigies of Gere and Shetty" in protests across India."

    Ah yes, the mark of a truely civilised people it is not.

    I say to all those who have outsourced to India, get the hell out NOW!!!!!!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    i would, wouldn't you

    If i was to get the chance of a "kiss" or two from a looker like Shilpa at the age i am now, let alone 60+ i'd do 3 months and smile the whole time!!

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Ignorance of the law is no defence"

    I used to understand and almost agree with that rule. If you murder someone and didn't know it was illegal, tough. If you steal something and didn't know, tough. Live by the 10 commandments, 4 precepts, or other similar-ish guidelines, then in my mind you've got nothing to worry about. Common-sense should prevent any problems with the law.

    But because travel is soo easy these days. It's trivial to get on a plane, go to a different country, and not appreciate you're truly entering a different country and culture.

    So when someone is made a criminal for kissing someone - something which the rest of the world does quite happily and without restraint - I think some lenience is due.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rings on her fingers and rings on her toes...

    .... she shall cause controversy where ever she goes.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    These are the same people that ride on the roofs of trains.

  21. CG


    > These are the same people that ride on the roofs of trains.

    Don't forget they're supporting a repressive caste system, have massive religious stampedes, protect rapists from prosecution and have a knack of ignoring child molesting and murder. I know it's a big country and this rant is far too generalising, but by Jove lads! Really.

  22. Shad

    Other thoughts

    Richard Gere is a self-proclaimed Buddist. As such he has a responsibility to look beyond the confines of his personal constructs. (It means he should have known better).

    His responsibility now, is to return to India, accept his fate and ensure a continuation of positive karma.

    It would also go a long way to demonstrate that we in the west actually have more moral fiber than those who claim vehement righteousness. It does not matter if they are wrong and we are right.

    Stand up. Be a man.

    Besides India would not let him rot in some backward low caste prison - he is far to famous for that. In the end, he would walk away a hero and likely ten times more popular than he is now.

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