Jumma Chumma: Iran Thrashes India

Here’s the deal, the conscience keepers of India. No matter how hard you try to beat the loonies in the obsessively offended category, you will lose.

Hands down.

To be fair, you played a good game. Here was Richard Gere, washed out has-been from Hollywood, who gets carried away by lust at an AIDS rally and kisses Shilpa Shetty with as much romantic grace as a bear pawing at a bee-hive. Quick on the draw and eager to show the world that we can beat the other loony countries with our desi looniness, a Jaipur court issues an arrest warrant taking into account what the judge perceived was the “highly sexually erotic” nature of the kiss.

The magistrate, who viewed the video footage of the programme, observed that the attitude of the two film personalities was “highly sexually erotic” which had “transgressed all limits of vulgarity and have the tendency to corrupt the society”. He said Shetty’s attitude was “cooperative” and she never restrained herself, but kept inviting Gere for the kissing episode which stretched on for a good while.

Needless to say, so erotic was the scene that the upright conscience-keepers came to a very quick decision.

Well society uncorrupters. You did good.

But you didn’t expect the mega-loons, the Fatwatists to take this attempt to usurp their crazy crown lying down, did you?

How’s this picture for highly sexually erotic?

From the Drudge Report:

“Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been accused of indecency after he publicly embraced and kissed on the hand an elderly woman who used to be his schoolteacher.

At a ceremony on Tuesday ahead of Iranian teachers’ day, Mr Ahmadinejad was photographed and filmed by state media stooping to kiss the woman’s hand and then clasping her arms in an embrace.

The ultra-conservative Hezbollah newspaper, which is not related to the group in Lebanon of the same name, criticised him on the front page.

“The Muslim Iranian people have no recollection of such acts contrary to sharia law during Islamic rule [since the 1979 revolution],” it said.

“This type of indecency progressively has grave consequences, like violating religious and sacred values.”

The elderly woman, who was not named, wore thick gloves along with a headscarf and long black coat, meaning that Mr Ahmadinejad avoided any skin contact.

But his action raised eyebrows because according to sharia law, it is forbidden for a man to have any physical contact with a woman to whom he is not related.”

Note the similarity between the pretenders: “transgressed all limits of vulgarity and have the tendency to corrupt the society” and the players: ” This type of indecency progressively has grave consequences, like violating religious and sacred values.”

And with that one fell swoop, Iran has asserted its dominance in the “we are the biggest crazies” game leaving the conscience-keepers of India to lick their paws and wait for the next highly erotic act to offend their sensibilities.

43 thoughts on “Jumma Chumma: Iran Thrashes India

  1. GB,

    nice writing!!! accidentally I hit your blog and it looks like there are many a good posts. didn’t get time to read much, i guess I’ll do it tomorrow in the office!

  2. very funny

  3. very good one!! nice one to start the day.. did u miss the Pak lady minister’s resignation yday due to similar reasons??!!!

  4. What has the world come to when we are being compared to Iran with regards to such issues.
    Incidentally now people are protesting against rakhi sawant because she keeps a buddha idol in her bathroom…

    Is it just me or are these uncalled and unjustified protests actually on the rise..

    And one thing I don’t understand…Why does the media give airtime to such protests???

  5. Its a pity that these issues attract this much attention, I guess the majority have too much time on their hands and no creative work to do.

    I think comparing India with Iran is a bit harsh, we are not that crazy:-)

  6. I felt like knowing: what are the well-defined parameters to classify a kiss as “highly sexually erotic”. I believe a lot of psycho psychological analysis must have taken place before freezing those glorified parameters!!!

  7. Arnab, we should not even get amused at this kind of lunatic behavior, this is exactly what they are intending, “15 minutes of fame”. I believe this trend is catching on, first it was worshiping Indian cricketers (before WC) and then performing these same players death rites similarly Rakhi, Shipa etc.
    It seems media is giving oxygen to flames……..

  8. Nice post man.. truly its a rat race “Who is the craziest of all”

  9. Shivaji Datta - From jheel ke "uss" paar :) May 3, 2007 — 6:05 am


    Nice to know we have a Bigger Brother. However, as pointed out by S.Pyne, it’s a releif to see that at least some reactive action was taken against the judge. So yay! And hopefully all is not lost yet.

    Taking this oportunity as a first time commenter to congratulate you on your recent achievement and also my personal liking for your kind of writing (and material).

  10. oh, no! THIS time I was sure we had the Biggest Crazies World cup. with Iran, u never know 😦 …. Damn!

  11. How come every commentor finds it silly that the media is going so much attention to these non-issues, and then the same commentors spends time and grey cells to read, review and comment on what they themselves define as ‘non-issues’?

    Secondly why is it so difficult to understand an Islamic view of life – I’m a Hindu, but I do not hug my aunts – its a ‘namaskar’ with no skin touching skin….guess my family would be a loony family compared to western (or for that matter the blogger and his commentors’) standards.

    If Iran ( and the Islamic culture) prohibits ‘kissing an elderly lady’s hands’, why does it bother and upset you. Why the need to broad brush them as a loony country?

    There are numerous things crazy about the hindu way of life – but we don’t like westerns jeering at us when we follow them. Why can’t we give the same space to Middle East and other muslims? Not being able to relate/ understand an aspect of life is a lesser crime, than commenting on it and exhibiting one’s ignorance.

    GB – enjoy your blog immensely – but i think you still flip when you take on sensitive issues. You don’t understand Islam dude – so then why the desire to exhibit your ignorance?

  12. I am not comfortable with the generalization of Iran here.
    Lets understand that its just a minority in both countries, Iran and India, that indulges in such crazy talk.
    The general public in Iran is quite comfortable with a certain liberal way of dressing and physical contact, which unfortunately is not know to most ppl outside. Ofcourse the western media is to be blamed mostly for giving such a lopsided perspective of Iran.

    Given your earlier posts, had expected a more knowledgeable view from you. Or atleast a qualifier putting the responsibility on the conservative minority in Iran. Unfortunately, it just perpetuates that lopsided perspective of the entire nation.

  13. I am happy (in a sad way) that there is someone that is worse off than us with respect to cultural fanaticism. India was being chastised all this while and now Iran stood up the take some of that blow. Here is my take on it: http://abhishekmukherjee.blogspot.com/2007/04/poor-gereor-is-it-poos-us.html

  14. Hooray, there are crazier fanatic loonies outside India…

    Odd how it doesnt make me feel any better.

    Good post, as always. Wish I could write like you! 🙂

  15. things are getting crazier in India everyday. and it is especially sad on the courts part to allow such a stupid case. infact even the courts are out for media publicity. but one thing is for sure India is fast becoming the laughing stock of the world due these stupidities

  16. Has Iran really trumped us? Don’t forget that in India the incident was vetted by the judiciary and then proclaimed as “unlawful”. In Iran we have just media reporting it as “indecency”

    Me thinks , between unlawful and indecency , we are more retarded than Iranians.

  17. I thought atleast our courts are mature enough but the last standing bastion of sensibility seems to be falling. Is there anyone else we can turn to?

    Iran does indeed reassert itself in the obsessively offended category. It had to beat the anti-hug moral police of the “moderate” Pakistan, didn’t it?

  18. On second thoughts, was hugging the opposite sex except for close relatives ever part of our culture until recently? I’ve never kissed my teacher’s hand. Even male. Have you? How many men do you know who would just start arbitrarily kissing women all over that you call it normal behaviour? Why the great hulla to the objections raised in some country on their private affair?

    I think, sometimes, the so called liberals (including me) are so obsessed with freedom that we start looking plain silly.

    Just thinking out loud.

  19. @Anonymous

    I’m a Hindu, but I do not hug my aunts – its a ‘namaskar’ with no skin touching skin….guess my family would be a loony family compared to western (or for that matter the blogger and his commentors’) standards.

    That is exactly the point of what is being discussed and ridiculed here. That because you do not hug your aunts, I can’t claim that you did something illegal. I cannot put you in jail because my culture says that you cannot do a namaskar. Does that sound absurd to you? It does, because a namaskar seems as innocent to you as a kiss on the hand does to others.

    The point of a free society and a free country is one where no one has the ability to impose their ideas of what is right and what is wrong onto you. Which is exactly what is happening in India. If it is my family’s custom to greet people by hugging and kissing them on the cheek, I dont think you have any business being “offended” by it. You do not like it, don’r practice it.

    If I like to have an idol of the lord god in my bathroom, so be it, it is my personal belief about the existance and worship or about the non-existence of Him that prompts me to do it, and you really should not have any business dictating my personal religious beliefs. It is this very extreme “sensitivity” that gives people the ability to burn up entire cities without bombs or explosives. Just drop a garland of chappals on Dr. Ambedkar’s statue, stand back and watch the fun!

    The twisting of history, the mangling of religion and generally fostering people’s ignorance is something that the political class in India derives a lot of mileage from. And this is exactly what we are parodying here.

  20. NO!


    Dammit, it is time to reclaim our lost glory. We can’t have pathetic little middle-eastern nations usurping our throne as moral protectors of the world!

    I know! I know!

    Lets arrest that Kalam guy for growing his hair long! That will show them!


    Well said.

  21. @ Mouse: Well said.

    @ Mous: To add to Mouse’s comments – it is not about religion or beliefs or societal norms. It is about tolerance. And btw, one does not have to be an expert on Islam to understand this, “dude”. Stop attacking people on unrelated issues just to prove a point.

  22. I feel it’s not about cultural sensivity or being offended. I concede that everyone has a right to be offended and some conservative people may have been offended by a peek on the cheek. But the broader point is that a group of right wingers are desperate to promote a “bullying” culture. Whereby you can bully everyone into submission/apology under the pretext of being offended. This is what scares me. What the right wingers are trying to spread is culture of threat and fear, of limiting one’s freedom to choose, freedom to speak, contrary to the very principles of this country. I feel concerned at the absence of a major political force to counter this, lack of a group who stands for protection of our democratic rights. Sympathetic lower courts are aggravating the situation by issuing stupid arrest warrents. It’s a sad day for India when we are giving ultra conservative nations a run for their money.

  23. Time to form a union of India and Iran so the hardliners in both countries can encourage and support the war on kissing.

    You can see some interesting comments here, some are so offended that, to them, it looked like Gere was trying to mount Shilpa!

  24. Judge Gupta, the fellow who found this kissing episode highly erotic/inapt, seems like a questionable character. See this. The likes of this silly duffer should realize their buffoonery isn’t helping India in world media. Reuters and other websites jump like hungry wolves on such news (not to blame them), and use it also as an opportunity to present India in a badlight (ought to blame them)..

  25. I think the whole point of this article was to ridicule the fact that people can over react to something as silly as these.
    Richard Gere in my opinion did go a little beyond normal decency on stage – he realised that and apologised – issue closed …. isn’t the Indian judiciary supposed to be overloaded with cases … how come the have so much time to handle such cases when people are languishing in jail with cases running for years …

  26. Anonymous, you are, I’m afraid, an excellent case of transferred blame. If I infer right, and I think I do, you accuse Arnab of being insensitive to religious beliefs because he, and those who responded in accord with him, finds the concern around kissing a elderly lady’s hand and enveloping it within the gentleman’s hands ‘loony’. You further, and this is the crux of the matter, ask him not to comment on issues he and his readers do not understand.

    Not commenting without understanding indeed. Far be from me to ask any of Arnab’s commenters from withholding comment whether (in my opinion) they have understood the point of the post or not, but the blame of misunderstanding lies entirely at YOUR door. The ‘understanding his culture’ aspect is not the point of the post at all. The ridicule is aimed entirely at the MANNER in which ultra-conservative vigilante elements of society attacks what it feels is their country/ethnic community/religious community’s ‘culture’ and set themselves up as its guardian and enforcers. And yet, yet, we have your righteous indignation at hand, to bring up a sensitive aspect that is not even directly relevant here.

    Anonymous, I do sincerely hope you stop to consider your words before hastily commenting on an issue and sensitising it. Over-sensitivity has a way of finding its way without us going out our way to help it along.

    P.S: just by the way. Read the post closely. It would appear that the gentleman did NOT, in fact, break any religious law when he kissed the elderly ladies cloth-covered hand.

  27. This cultural policing needs to stop. Boy, Shilpa shetty looked delicious enough to eat. Gere – you horny little SOB – all the blood from his brain swooshed into his d**k. I am sure he hit on her later on also – If she did not oblige him with a hookup I think he must have beaten little Gere to death. The ones protesting just need to get laid.

  28. @Chillar: Thanks

    @Debu: Thanks

    @VK: No I didn’t. Just didnt want to belabour my point.

    @Anonymous: “Incidentally now people are protesting against rakhi sawant because she keeps a buddha idol in her bathroom…”

    How did they come to know? And yes anything (animate or inanimate) seeing Rakhi Sawant in the bathroom has every right to be “offended”.

    @Anon: Too much time and a desire for the 5 seconds of infamy.

    @Saunak: Highly sexually erotic…yeah right.

    @S.Pyne: And thank heavens.

    @Sam: True.

    @Cyzak: Thanks

    @Shivaji: Thank you

    @Sudha: Yeah what to do.


    “How come every commentor finds it silly that the media is going so much attention to these non-issues, and then the same commentors spends time and grey cells to read, review and comment on what they themselves define as ‘non-issues’?”

    The problem is not with the media in this case. Its with the man who has made us a laughing stock with his silly arrest warrant. When one loony hijacks the judicial system, then yes it is time we commented.

    “GB – enjoy your blog immensely – but i think you still flip when you take on sensitive issues. You don’t understand Islam dude – so then why the desire to exhibit your ignorance?”

    And you do? While being oh so sensitive, has it ever occured to you that Ahmadinejad is no Gere-ian dilettante…he is very very aware of the “Islamic way of life”.And even he cannot protect himself against the “sensitive” loonies. Why? Cause no matter how “conservative” you are, there will always be one person even more conservative than you who is eager to be “offended”. And the thing is it’s not just confined to being “offended” in the sense that I am offended by someone farting in the room. The “offended” feeling we are talking about leads to arrest and persecution and ultimately the forcible imposition of your moral world-view on others.

    @RR: Needless to say in the hurry to be offended yourself, you missed the point. Even most people in India I hope find the Gere incident funny and trivial (just as perhaps most people in Iran hopefully find the Hezbullah newspaper’s opinion to be ridiculous) However that doesnt take away the fact that such a travesty happened in India and if people laugh at India for that, doesnt really make much sense to say “oh it was just a few people”.

    In any case, for a nation that talks about nuking israel and of bringing people’s heads on a plate, I find it difficult to think of moderation in association with it.

    @Shek: But if the measure becomes Iran…

    @Shyam: Its as if we in India are competing with these fellows…I remember Indira gandhi being hugged by Fidel Castro in a NAM summit and there was (rightfully) no hue and cry about it.

    @Joyjit: At least the magistrate is gone.

    @PG: 🙂

    @Thejas: 🙂

    @Puneet: Point taken.

    @Lalbadshah: Anonymouse says it best.

    @Aditya: 🙂

    @Dipesh: 🙂

    @Matt: We have a serial kisser here. Imran Kissme beware !

    @Giri: Yes…I was asked my an office colleague “Is it true there is an arrest warrant for Gere in India?”….its news like this that sticks to the mind.

    @Dibyo: So let Gere go overboard. If Shetty has no problem, why should anyone else?

    @Rimi: Well said.

    @Sid: Control yaar !

  29. the world has gone crazy

    here is what i think abt the shilpa gere episode and this is not for u GB since i know u wont have the time for it

    this is for all other GB readers who are free enough to read this comment :p


    and the iran story…..realllllllllllly sad!

  30. Has anyone seen the movie “Shall we Dance”? Is there any dance move in the movie similar to the one tried by Gere on Shilpa?

  31. found this joke on net

    Q. What is the difference between Indian and American democracy?

    A. In India you can shit in public but you can’t kiss in public. In America you can kiss in public but you can’t shit in public!

  32. Its ridiculous to compare Iran and India. Its like comparing Australia to Canada in the cricketing world ( I know this is not the best of the examples ).
    But if your point is tha both these countries play cricket. Well …accepted. But Canada “licking their paws and waititing for the next” world cup to have a go at Australia is not accepted 🙂

  33. bewakoofon ki kami nahi ghalib, har lamha ek aur paidaa hota hai….truly, stupidity like love is universal…it might be about kissing someone in India and Iran but that’s just one small aspect to look at….you only need to see Fox news for a while or hear the statements of the Gun lobby, the anti-evolutionists etc. to see that no country leads or follows in this rat race to prove their stupidity………it just happens to take the form of kissing in India and Iran

  34. Americans are renowned to be stupid. That’s not an excuse for us to behave stupidly. How can we behave superior to Americans when we behave in such idiotic fashion too?

  35. Move over ‘Big B’… now Sunday NY Times follows in the footsteps of the ‘Great B’ — http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/06/weekinreview/06vitello.html

  36. @S. Pyne- Thanks for the nice article.

    “Robin Hicks, a cultural anthropologist at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., said that when the kissing involves people of different ethnicities — especially a Western man and a local woman, as in the case of Mr. Gere’s kiss in India — the cultural sensitivity of conservative-minded people is often greatly heightened.

    “Frankly, I was shocked at his behavior,” Ms. Hicks said. ”He’s been to India so many times. He should have known better.” Mr. Gere, a practicing Buddhist and supporter of the Tibetan cause, visits India frequently to meet with the Dalai Lama.

    “On the other and,” she added, “I guess this is one way for cultural anthropologists to get jobs.”

    Very well said.:)

  37. nice work dude.

  38. ha ha ha ha…..man, you’ve got talent. What a way to put it…

    “transgressed all limits of vulgarity and have the tendency to corrupt the society” and the players: ” This type of indecency progressively has grave consequences, like violating religious and sacred values.”

    man, that is really absolutely hilarious. if that is vulgar, then what is not.

  39. that is sick

  40. LOL… This was funny, but I think Richard Gere really did a very dumb thing here and it did look kind of gross, but it did not call for this kind of reaction…

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