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Down with Gere!

4/16/2007 12:28 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Hindu nationalists are burning Richard Gere in effigy -- no, not because of "Shall We Dance," but because of his over-affectionate behavior toward a popular Bollywood actress.

Photographs hit front pages of newspapers in India today, showing Gere kissing Shilpa Shetty on the cheek at an AIDS awareness event in New Delhi -- where public displays of affection are taboo. In protest, members of the right-wing Hindu nationalist group, Shiv Sena, beat burning effigies of Gere with sticks and burned pictures of Shetty.

In the video, Gere can be seen kissing Shetty several times on the hand before hugging and kissing her on the cheek -- cheered on by fans the entire time. When Gere took to the mic, he led to the crowd in a "No condom, no sex" chant in Hindi.

Shetty came to the defense of Gere today, saying, "I understand that it might have looked like he went slightly overboard, but that was really not the intention. His intention was that of entertaining the people. "

49 COMMENTS

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1.

Bebe    

why do Americans always make asses out of themseleves and uswhen overseas?

2685 days ago
2.

Em    

Wow - she is lucky!

2685 days ago
3.

Britney Spears Photos    

Not very likely

2685 days ago
4.

tba    

They should all take a pill and get over it. Chalk it up to a learning experience. Women in this society are treated like 2nd class citizens while the males do a fine job spreading their seed indiscriminately.

2685 days ago
5.

sharon    

Burning photos of Shetty????

WHY???

What did SHE do???

Are they going to stone her to death next???

Typical. The man does something inapproprite to the woman, WITHOUT HER CONSENT, and SHE is GUILTY????

WHEN IS THIS CULTURE GOING TO BE STOPPED?!?!?!?
BECAUSE, THIS IS NOT ABOUT THEIR GOD, IT'S ABOUT THE MEN WHO HAVE HIJACKED THEIR GOD TO SUIT THEMSELVES!!!!

2685 days ago
6.

nd    

OMG find something important to protest. Religious fanatics have plucked on my last nerve.

2685 days ago
7.

ujay    

These protesters need to channel their energy into fighting poverty and AIDS in their country. They are making a big deal out of absolutely nothing.

2685 days ago
8.

Down with stupid people!    

Pakis suck, they are absolutly horrible! They treat their women as property. You should take a look at Canada, they allow these people in without any info on how Canadians behave. They come and then they look at us in disgust. OMG. Extreme-ism is their way of life, who cares if Gere made an ass of himself there, he knew what he was doing, I would bet it is his way of bringing light to how barbaric the men there are! Down with oppresive nations! Im going to watch this board, hopefully I will see intelligent responses.

2685 days ago
9.

me    

I think when you visit another country, you need to learn and respect their culture. This was a very inappropriate move on the part of Mr. Gere. People might have been cheering but it was still not appropriate. He should have been more respectful towards the hostess. And while there are people who may not agree with that culture...it is still THEIR way. We don't live there and we shouldn't be so quick to judge what we see as wrong in their culture. I like and respect Mr. Gere very much but I think he could have used more discretion with this experience.

2685 days ago
10.

JEB    

I thought all the India Slurpee indians were over here. I'm glad to see they do have a country, and that the ones dumb enough to live there subscribe to stupid, antiquated beliefs.

I love those people. The unintelligible customer service folks.

2685 days ago
11.

JEB    

I loves me some religious fanatics. And AOL liberals. They taste like chicken.

2685 days ago
12.

studly    

well it is third world country people ,he did it on purpose i'm sure to start a controversy to show the world how stupid these religious right nut cases are in every country cause if he knows the customs then he knew this would happen

2685 days ago
13.

Lisa    

Was he drunk??????????????

2685 days ago
14.

Susan    

Looks like he pretty much had to force her backwards. She obviously didn't want to be bent that way.

2685 days ago
15.

Glee (I'm baaaaack)    

How backwards, they burn and stone an effigy of Gere AND the woman for an act of playful affection. backwards backwards

amazing that they act as some kind of moral authority LOL!!!!

2685 days ago
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