The Indians like to show their conservative and awkward side as a taunt to the West. This despite their pride in winning beauty pageants judged under western criteria and breaking into the money-spinning Hollywood movie scene. In other words, they want to be like the west, and yet they want to shun them to show that they, the Indians are really superior, with their ancient civilisation and culture. The reality about their impoverished lives, backward culture and inferior movies are concealed under this ridiculous pride and superior exterior.

Therefore, Liz Hurley was embraced when she chose to marry a local Indian son, Arun Nayar. But criticism was severe when she tried to show her western superiority over the Indians and turned her back on Indian culture. Aishwarya Rai is loved because she managed to win an international beauty pageant title to triumph over the other beautiful women in the world. Yet, she truly won Indian hearts when she married Abishek Bachan.

American Actor, Richard Gere was the latest scapegoat of misplaced Indian pride. The Indian Supreme Court recently ruled that the arrest warrant for the Hollywood star be temporarily suspended. The actor f mous for his role in Pretty Woman was charged with violating public obscenity laws by kissing sexy Bollywood actress, Shilpa Shetty, at an event to raise awareness about AIDS. He kissed her on the cheek. Many Indians couldn’t be bothered about such frivolous issues as they are too busy eking out a living in poverty-stricken India. Others are bemused by the incident. Richard Gere wisely apologised for any offence he had unintentionally caused in his ignorance of local culture. Yet he believes the radical Hindu fundamentalists are trying to politicise the issue and venting their hatred of all things west.