ibnlive » India

Jun 16, 2007 at 02:39pm IST

Ravi Shashtri beef byte sparks row

Indore: Former Indian captain Ravi Shastri landed in a mess after he made public his love for Biltong—a dish made from dried beef.

He now has a petition seeking action against him for hurting the religious sentiments of his community.

But that's not very unusual in Indore. Shastri joins a long list of celebrities who have such case pending against them in Indore's courts.

While Ashwarya, Hrithik and MF Hussain have been hauled up for allegedly injecting vulgarity into Indian culture, Mamta Kulkarni's alleged "over-exposure" on a magazine cover have led to long-drawn cases.

And the man behind most of these petitions is Shailendra Diwedi—a lawyer by profession. "The youth of this country look up to Aishwarya Rai. By kissing the way she did in Dhoom, an irreparable damage was done to our culture, so I filed against them," says Divedi.

Actor Dharmendra reportedly was also given sleepless nights while contesting for the Lok Sabha from Bikaner. Indore's conscious-keepers questioned Dharmendra for changing his name and his religion to marry his dream girl.

The petitioners might have a following in the city, but many others are skeptical of this battle against celebrities. "Dragging famous people to court is a publicity stunt," says Ruma, a psychologist.

More than anything else, it's the temptation to hog some media lime light coupled with the inability to adapt to changes occurring in a transitory city that force people in Indore to act as the conscious-keepers of the country.