Does this matter? Not really. [Image source]
Publicity sans merit is a dream come true for many. People who subscribe to this virtue are usually prone to tagging on to tails of sensational happenings. The recent court case in Jaipur to punish Richard Gere for ‘obscenely’ kissing Shilpa Shetty on her cheek in an AIDS function is a prime example.
I wonder why is it the ultra right that is always on the edge to teach us, the ‘neo-literates’, as to what is good and not-so-good for us. Don’t they find anything objectionable in the bare-all pelvic dances in the Hindi films? Or for that matter, the violent fights shown in the same films?
Of course it is not the rightists who suffer from the lure of becoming moral guardians. We’ve seen how the present I&B minister messed up the release of The Da Vinci Code, mistaking his position with an assumed responsibility to protect the feelings of a few Christians.
Such is the zeal of such self-appointed messiahs, rising to the occasion at the drop of a hat to protect the masses from the ill effects of certain public display that the whole thing often becomes highly ridiculous.
In democracy, everything passes – the incidents, the protests, and the dying down of issues. It’s all part of the game and certainly okay as long as the nation’s resources are not put to strains.
The Gere-related case in the Jaipur court is an utter wastage of nation’s resources, if only because to the best of my understanding, no amount of the court’s time would ever be successful to handcuff Gere.
Liberty and freedom of expression are as dear to us, the Indians as to Richard Gere, an American. Unless the Jaipur judges can conclusively prove that Gere’s action has broken Indian laws and later withstand the scrutiny of Supreme Court if need arises, which are seemingly impossible, the court case will turn out to be just that, a flash in the pan.
Meanwhile, far away from Jaipur, an unconcerned person like me will have to be content with such irritations on the TV and newspapers till the embers die down (sigh!).