Do you think Richard Gere should be arrested for kissing Indian (India) actress?

@raydene (9874)
United States
April 26, 2007 8:45am CST
Richard Gere plants a kiss on actress Shilpa Shetty's cheek in an attemp to show that kisses do not cause aids.Now Indian court has issued a non-bailable arrest warrant for Richard Gere because in India it is against the law to kiss in public. I don't understand this but I didn't grow up in India.It lets me know how different our cultures are. I hope someone from India will tell me how they feel about this..And from other countries what do you think? http://blogs.usatoday.com/ondeadline/2007/04/richard_gere_fa.html
15 people like this
42 responses
@srhelmer (6930)
• Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
26 Apr 07
If it's the law, he shouldn't have broken it. Actually, if she didn't want him to kiss her, then that's considered 4th degree rape here.
6 people like this
@raydene (9874)
• United States
26 Apr 07
She is being charged also.Thanks for your opinion.I doubt if he was aware of this law...
4 people like this
@jhoanee (598)
• Philippines
27 Apr 07
i guess it was a mind opener to all of us that we are in another country we should respect what they believe and more specially there laws. if he committed that act then for sure he had the right to defend himself in the proper court there. no matter who we are or what we are if we are not in our own country i guess we have to follow what they thought is right.
@mummymo (23707)
26 Apr 07
Hey honey - I have just responded to another discussion that was about this but with less info! Until I read the last post I hadn't heard that this had happened! I did however see footage of Gere kissing Shilpa Shetty and it was quite bizarre! My opinion is that when in a country with a different culture and different values you should respect that and behave accordingly - espescially in front of national and international press!
4 people like this
@raydene (9874)
• United States
27 Apr 07
I also thought him a bit pushy about it but his reason was a good one..I do think he should be punished but jailed is alittle extreme xoxoxo
2 people like this
@mummymo (23707)
28 Apr 07
Very extreme - lets hope that an apology or something could settle things down!
2 people like this
@emeraldisle (13145)
• United States
26 Apr 07
Personally from reading the article I think India needs to redifine what is considered an "obscene act in public". Richard Gere might have been aware of the law but not realize that kissing on the cheek was a part of it. After all kissing on the cheek in most countries is not considered an obscene act in public. From the image she wasn't objecting to the kiss and seemed to enjoy it. I do agree we should respect others laws and traditions. If they do want to charge him then we have to honor their right to do so. I just think that it seems to be an archiac law when addressed to a kiss on the cheek.
• Philippines
26 Apr 07
Oh, is that for real? I don't know what to say. Kiss on cheeks is not even a minor offense here in the Philippines. But one must respect others' culture and laws. I think Richard Gere must have a public apology, he must show that he is really sincere so he will be forgiven.
@lightningMD (5932)
• United States
26 Apr 07
No I dont think he should be arrested. I wouldnt mind if he kissed me lol. I understand that he broke the law though and he shouldnt have done it. He was just trying to make a point and raise Aids awareness. I think The Indian courts should just give him a letter of reprimand and he should apologize to them. I think he should be more careful next time and follow local customsbut he should not stop trying to inform the world on this terrible disease.
@gemini1960 (1162)
• Philippines
27 Apr 07
Its unfair for the authorities to file against the actor, since it is done in good faith and have some good intentions of showing to the public that by doing so you cant be contaminated with aids. im asian but not in india.
@friendship (2085)
• Canada
26 Apr 07
Personally, I don't think it is wrong because kissing can be considered as one of affection ways. But Richard Gere is not doing it in USA where kissing in front of the public is common. When someone goes to a foreign country, he should adjust with the norms and cultures in the country ("When in Rome, Do As the Romans Do"). I believe that Richard Gere didn't know India's laws and cultures. I think his manager of Public Relations must inform him about the norms and cultures before coming to India. Apparently, it is not.
• United States
26 Apr 07
When in Rome?? Seriously, when you travel other countries, how to act. As much as I love Richard Gere, they are both wrong in this case. Now, I don't agree with the law in the first place, but they should respect the law of the countries they are in. I do wonder how this is all going to play out. Probably a big fat fine for both of them, as I would hate either one to have to go to prison for 3 months, which is the maximum sentence.
@nancygibson (3737)
• France
27 Apr 07
I'd never heard that kissing in publis was illegal in India. Just as a point of interest, if you go on holiday to India is this pointed out in any of the stuff you read on the plane or get from the travel agents? Just wondering how the average visitor would ever know that this wasnt allowed especially if they were from say France where everyone kisses on meeting.
@raydene (9874)
• United States
27 Apr 07
Hi Nancy,I guess they have to read my discussion...lol..Really that is a good question.I have a friend that is a travel agent..I'll ask her if she knows this...She has been to India a number of times also..
1 person likes this
@abroji (3247)
• India
1 May 07
nacygibson, millions of tourists are visiting India every year. Many of them visit this country repeatedly. Most of these tourists are from the west, especially America and Europe. Ofcourse Australians, Japanese etc are also there. They don't meet with any such problems. If Richard Gere came to India with his wife/friend on tour and kissed while in a beach in India or in a park or any other publicplace nobody would raise any objection to that. In this case he was giving some sort of lecture upon a particular subject and to establish certain point he caught hold of the female he couild immediately reach and started kissing her hand. Then he pulled her close to him hugged her and planted that long kiss on the cheak of her. He was trying to establish that one do not get infected of HIV by kissing somebody. Neither he nor Shilpa are known HIV carriers . Then how could he establish the point by kissing her. Or was he trying to make understand the audiance what a kiss is? At any rate his act was ridiculous if not vulgar.
@weemam (13377)
26 Apr 07
Isn't it so funny all our different customs in all the different countries , we had a visit from mummymo this afternoon ( a good time had by all) and when she went back home there was a lot of hugging and kissing of cheeks , even hubby joined in lol , anyway , I would probably done this too in another country IF I knew the people , I think it is a shame though if he gets into trouble because of this xxxx
@raydene (9874)
• United States
27 Apr 07
We pass hugs and kisses when we meet friends and relatives also but I think if you travel you need to know what the country expects of you while you are there.. xoxoxo
1 person likes this
@weemam (13377)
27 Apr 07
yehh I agre with you on that point pal xxx
2 people like this
@stella1989 (2274)
• India
27 Apr 07
I am an Indian ..I feel so shamless that our government is making such BIG laws for just a small things like kiss.!! huh..now thats disgusting..!! And that sooo backward..!I just wish if they could change..somehow..!
@abroji (3247)
• India
1 May 07
First try to learn what your culture is.
• Canada
27 Apr 07
First think for what cause he has come to India, he can go to other country also. Second when he was trying to kiss shipla, she should have avoided him. third he is not done anything so dangerous that he should be serve with non-bailable warrant. Last and most important we have to change our attitute, when we are very much interested in going abroad for money or for immigration we change our mind. See the issue from broadmind you will see nothing bad in it.
2 people like this
@abroji (3247)
• India
1 May 07
Honestly will you allow somebody to perform such an act before your wife and children especially daughters or sisters? Don't pretened. Our culture has its own value.
@lilmeowsy (685)
• Philippines
27 Apr 07
I guess the actor was not aware of this law. Knowing that he is from another country, I don't think he really knew about it. I've heard that Indians are very conservative people but I didn't know that such a weird law existed in their country. Honestly, I don't have anything against people kissing in public as long as they are not doing something that should not be done in front of other people. (You know what I mean!) A smack is okay but to kiss torridly, I don't think so! Besides, the Indian people probably thought that such acts can violate the teachings that have been passed down to them for many generations. I think he should not be arrested. It's all a big misunderstanding. They should call a meeting and talk about it privately. They should not publicize something like this. It's too embarassing and ridiculous too! ^^
2 people like this
@raydene (9874)
• United States
27 Apr 07
I have spent an hour online trying to find a reference to this law anywhere other then this incident..I have checked a number of travel sites,just called my friend the travel agent that has traveled there a number of times..She has never heard of this..Even if I could travel I'd not head to India after this ..I'd be afraid I end up in jail just being nice..
1 person likes this
• India
27 Apr 07
i am an indian, born and brought up here. i have heard about the court issuing an arrest warrant though i myself didn't know that it was illegal to kiss in public in India. what happens is that we have numerous cultural enthusiasts who try to impose such bans on unsuspecting people and file Public Interest Litigations in courts claiming that disrespect has been shown to indian culture and tradition. having said this, i would also like to say that i have seen the kissing episode on TV and i think that a friendly peck, (as many westerners are prone to give) would not have mattered so much. but Gere just went on and on like there was no tomorrow. it did come across as a bit obscene and was totally unexpected from someone of Richard Gere's stature.
2 people like this
@raydene (9874)
• United States
27 Apr 07
I thought it was abit too much myself but I think he was trying to get noticed for aids awareness..I've never seen him do such a thing before..I think he thought he would bring aids to the front..
@gabs8513 (48715)
• United Kingdom
27 Apr 07
Goodness I read this yesterday in another Discussion but there was not as many Details as you have just given me It was only on the Cheek so what was the Problem there Ok I was not brought up there either so I guess it will be interesting to know why it is so bad Love and Hugs xxxxx
2 people like this
@raydene (9874)
• United States
27 Apr 07
Look at what #21 has posted.He has explained that the lawyers that started this are doing so to get attention.. xoxoxo
1 person likes this
• India
27 Apr 07
In India there are no law that one should be punished for kissing.But in india law says that anyone can file a case against anyone if he/she finds some public act as unhealthy/awkward/posing illeffect to his/her society or children.There are some political parties in India also who takes the advantage of these acts and/or rallies that rise against these acts for their benifit.So in this scenario an act caused by celebrities attracts these 'public' and/or political parties to campaign for them.The rescent kissing act just did that.Of course one cannot bypass the personal feelings.So casing file is ok from the viewpoint of the two lawers who did so,but if they really did so from their own feelings, not due to attract public interrest to them to get renowned.And as far as Mr. Gere is concerened he should have known beforehand about Indian Cultures and all that before engaging himself into those acts.So he must pay for his act as demanded, but to a minimum level.
@raydene (9874)
• United States
27 Apr 07
Thanks for this information.As an North American I have never been to India so did not know what you just typed.It is a good way for those of us that do not know or understand your customs to learn about them and respect them.Thank you very much
1 person likes this
@limalimon (638)
• Mexico
27 Apr 07
I think that every person, it doesn´t matter if he is famous or not, has to respect the law and the customs of the country of he visit, and if he broke this law he must to pay it.
2 people like this
@priya_ot (72)
27 Apr 07
well thats a very unfortunate incident...it was just a peck and besides if shilpa would have felt bad then the things might be different..that was an over-reaction by the moral police present in the Indian society..personally i think the sensible Indian mass dont think it to be worth the kind of hue n cry its making..its just politically motivated action to gain cheap popularity at the expense of others..
2 people like this
@ladyljs (1303)
• United States
27 Apr 07
I think that a peck on the cheek would have been a minor offense and something that would need a public apology...but he was all over this woman! How did she maintain? I mean, come on, if that would have happened to me in front of the whole world, I don't know if I would have handled it so graciously. I don't think jail is the answer...maybe some kind of community service?
@cmsk2005 (1770)
• United States
27 Apr 07
Not arrested but I think he should apologize for his work to all Indian. I think eachone of us should show respect to other's cultures and traditions. What he did is too much. Do you think it is very healthy or very much applicable for his campaign(aNTI-aids) and there was no other way to exibit his thought? Atleast it is not intellegent way to express the thought.