India Uncut

This blog has moved to its own domain. Please visit for the all-new India Uncut and bookmark it. The new site has much more content and some new sections, and you can read about them here and here. You can subscribe to full RSS feeds of all the sections from here. This blogspot site will no longer be updated, except in case of emergencies, if the main site suffers a prolonged outage. Thanks - Amit.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Rakhi Sawant, Mika and 'party kissing'

Rakhi Sawant has filed a police complaint against Mika, the pop singer, for allegedly forcibly kissing her. In response, Daler Mehndi, young Mika's older brother, has said, "This party kissing is not Indian culture."

While surfing channels mindlessly shortly after recording my audio piece for the day for Cricinfo, I came across footage of the incident on Channel 7. Rakhi and Mika were laughing around together in front of his birthday cake, and the cameraman had clearly been instructed to focus on her, well, curves. (I hate that word, I really do!) So you had a close-up of bare back with camera zooming out to reveal Rakhi in a backless dress, then close-up of her bosom from the side, then camera moving up and down like a caress, and so on. It was pornography with clothes on.

There was plenty of banter, and Rakhi gave Mika a long peck on the cheek, which clearly delighted Mika. After cutting the cake, he grabbed her, and as all his friends looked on in delight, kissed her on the lips. It was clear, when he grabbed her, that she didn't want to be kissed (or grabbed, for that matter).

In an altercation after this, the gentleman accompanying her, a rather hefty fellow, was also allegedly beaten up.

I'm sure a lot of people will see the footage and conclude from Rakhi's flirtatious behaviour that Mika may have been justified in taking the liberties he did. That's a pity, because that kind of thinking is used to justify matters much worse than an enforced kiss. More power to Rakhi for complaining about it, though I'm not sure what penalties the Indian penal code proscribes for this, and how much time that will take to come through. Rakhi may well even choose to drop the case, as I'm sure the two of them have many mutual friends. But Mika has, hopefully, learnt a lesson from this. (Not the one about 'party kissing' and Indian culture.)

Ah, and you ask me what I think of 'party kissing' in general? Well, as long as there is consent on both sides, I don't really care what the hell people do at parties. Speaking for myself, I find mua-mua cheek-brushy-brushy air-kissing rather awkward, and parties aren't quite my natural environment. I like footage, though.

Update: The Graduate has a lovely post on kissing, missing and hugs. I'm a huge fan of Nos. 1 and 3 -- though not with random junta, of course, and never without consent.

Update 2: Mid Day has another story in which Rakhi says that Mika had porcibly kissed her once before, at a stage show in Punjab. In response, Mika says, "I did not kiss Rakhi Sawant in Punjab. Such things cannot be done in Punjab." Ah.

Incidentally, that story also has a photograph of the kiss in question, which can no longer be described as "alleged." Look at Mika's expression, and those of the chaps all around -- you have to feel sorry for the poor girl.

And yes, no doubt people will ask what she was doing at his party if he had pulled this stunt on her in the past. Well, I have just one response to that: 'stupid' isn't 'willing'. It was stupid of her to go to the party, but that doesn't condone Mika forcing himself on her.

Update 3 (June 13): Here's a follow-up post.
amit varma, 7:27 AM| write to me | permalink | homepage

I recommend: