Our correspondents from all over now report.
Delhi: The national capital witnessed protests against the kiss, organised and led by the Patparganj Punjabi Aunties Association. Asked for a comment, PPAA Secretary General Sheenu Chadha said: ‘Richard Gere has hurt the sentiments of North Indians. How can he come to India and kiss an ugly Madrasi like Shilpa Shetty? Doesn’t he know Punjabi women are the most beautiful? Look at Juhi Chawla, Kareena Kapoor, and Neetu Singh. He should apologise.’
Vadodara: Local social worker Jignesh Shah was at the forefront of protests in Gujjuland. Speaking to reporters at a press conference, Shah said:
‘You all must remember this
a kiss is not just a kiss
a sigh is not just a sigh
The fundamentalist things apply
Richard Gere must die.’
Asked what concrete steps he would take going forward, Shah said that he would file a PIL seeking a stay against Western culture.
Tirupur: Mr. K Sivapathi, managing director of Padma Flag and Effigy Works, said that the controversy had come at the wrong time for the company. ‘We were already utilising maximum capacity thanks to the Jade Goody episode. After the national anthem controversy we had to subcontract effigies of Narayana Murthy out for jobwork. Now we will have to give Richard Gere effigies to jobworkers also which will hurt our margins. We would like to go in for capacity expansion to solve the problem but the high interest rates are making it difficult.’
Kolkata: Support for the kiss came from unexpected quarters. Nitish Singhania, President of the La Martinere’s Boys School’s Interact Club, praised the kiss and said it was an excellent way to spread AIDS awareness, adding ‘The LMB Interact Club is going to encourage all Marts students to kiss each other to raise awareness of AIDS.’ When reminded that none of the LMB students are Shilpa Shetty, or female for that matter, Singhanina replied ‘So?’.
Copenhagen: Danish band Legodeath also came out in support of the kissers. Band frontsman Lars presented the rough outline of a new song on the controversy:
‘who he will kiss
who she will kiss
does it matter
only their choice
we can only long
of Sweet Death
when will it come?‘
Tucson, Arizona: Rahul Raguram had no comment on the kiss, but praised Legodeath for creating the new genre of Scandinavian Death Smooch Goth.