India's Daughter! Is misogyny and patriarchy toxic for women?

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Rashna, Apr 1, 2015.

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  1. Rashna

    Rashna Senior Member Senior Member

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    I have been on this forum for three odd days and never in my wildest dreams did i imagine i would have to change my thinking about Indian men and re-visit this article. I was all for banning the documentary India's daughter because in my view point it was a western game to wash india's dirty linen on international fora. I also felt that it was not justified that a British woman should make this documentary on India while ignoring the far worse rape statistics in her own country. I honestly did not believe that the educated men of this country think like mukesh singh or his lawyers. But now i am beginning to wonder if i was wrong! I have seen comments that range from paranoid to hatred, abuse, show of male superiority, and utter dis-regard for the material that was put up in defense. I want to pose a counter question to all these men. Is misogyny and patriarchy toxic for women?


    The banality of evil revisited


    Hannah Arendt wrote Eichmann in Jerusalem: A report on the banality of evil in 1963, a report on the trial of Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi officer charged with carrying out the Reich’s “Final Solution.” She wrote of Eichmann, “Despite all the efforts of the prosecution, everybody could see that this man was not a “monster,” but it was difficult indeed not to suspect that he was a clown.” She found him quotidian, almost unremarkable. She, controversially, did not believe him to be a fanatic or a sociopath, but described him as someone who had made stupid choices for professional advancement.

    India’s Daughter , a reconstructive documentary by Leslee Udwin on the Nirbhaya gang rape, that has now been banned by the Bharatiya Janata Party government, essentially presents the “monsters” that raped the woman as everyday men, like Arendt presented Eichmann. In doing so, the film offers a damning portrayal of Indian patriarchy and misogyny.

    Some years ago, a friend confided in me that in a fit of rage her husband had shouted that he wished she would be gang raped because she deserved it. Then he paused and said, “No, I think I want something worse than that to happen to you. I want you to die.”

    I watched India’s Daughter before the government banned it. As I listened to the rapist explain how he and the others thought about women, I realised there was little difference between them and this husband. But that’s where the similarity ended. He was an upper caste male, an IIT aristocrat living in Silicon Valley, studying at a top business school. The only other difference was that he never acted on his thoughts.


    Problematic documentary

    India’s Daughter is problematic on many counts. First, the appeals process of the rapists, sentenced to death in 2013, is still on. There is good reason to fear that the release of the documentary could hurt the appeal. However, while the trial was ongoing, no one raised the argument that the mobs outside the Delhi court, which were baying for the blood of the rapists, were hurting the actual trial and sentencing.

    The second problem comes from those who say that the film is orientalist and colonial. Yes, a non-Indian person made the film, and her gaze on Indian society is not as nuanced as an Indian’s would be, especially an Indian steeped in critical and social theory. But none of these is a ground for dismissing the film or banning it.

    Third, the film is said to glorify the rapists and promote voyeurism. However, believing that is to misread the film. The film is not focussed on rape victims. Udwin is trying to understand why rapists rape. This is not unlike the work of Mahmood Mamdani ( When Victims Become Killers ) and Scott Strauss, who have tried to understand the Rwandan genocide also from the point of view of those who killed. It is not unlike what the Behavioural Sciences Unit of the Federal Bureau of Investigation does in the United States. Also, if there is a charge of voyeurism, should depictions of Auschwitz cease completely, because they may prompt people to become neo-Nazis?

    The film gives the rapists a voice and in doing so shows them as ordinary boys capable of unspeakable horror. Bollywood has done far more to propagate rape culture through its Chikni Chamelis and Munnis than Udwin’s film does (which has a very limited reach since the average Indian does not watch BBC documentaries). Even “Raanjhanaa,” a film released after the anti-rape agitation, glorifies stalking, thus bearing testimony to how little the movement changed mindsets, even while it achieved far-reaching legal reforms. Heroines in Bollywood films are constantly scripted to reward the attentions of a stalker, a sexual harasser and a male who steals their dupattas. Fathers are scripted like Rapunzel’s abductor; they lock their daughters in the house, who then has to wait for rescue.

    Udwin’s voice is conspicuous by its absence in the film. She does not judge what the men say. The men range from the rapists to the defence lawyers for the rapists. They say things like, “Ours is a great culture. There is no place for women in it.” A lawyer says that he would burn his daughter in front of his whole family if she engaged in premarital intercourse. Another likens a woman to a flower and later to a piece of jewellery. One of the strongest feminist voices comes from the girl’s father, while a decidedly patriarchal voice comes from the wife of one of the accused, who asks why no one is bothered about her protection. A husband, she says, has to protect his wife. If her husband is sentenced to death, who will protect her?

    The film tells us how these particular rapists think. In doing so, however, we are forced to confront that this is what we have heard men from every demographic say, across the country. This is why it has become a political problem. It is frankly embarrassing for a political class that talks about ‘India Shining’ and ‘Make in India’ and emptily parrots the words “women’s empowerment” to have this seen internationally. Meenakshi Lekhi said that the film would deter tourism, while Venkaiah Naidu stated that the film was part of an anti-India conspiracy.

    Age-old thinking

    This thinking has existed in India for centuries — much before Udwin made this film. Khaps in India have been saying such things about women for a long time. One of the defence lawyers asks why his clients have been singled out for punishment when many sitting Members of Parliament have rape charges against them. The rapist, Mukesh Singh, also uses the cliché, “it takes two to clap.” He questions the woman’s character, asking if a ‘decent’ girl would be out on the streets that late. In doing so, he echoes Hindu godmen who have said similar things. For instance, Asaram Bapu said, “The victim daughter is as guilty as the rapists. She should have called them brother and begged them to stop.” Ram Sewak Paikra, a member of the Chhattisgarh BJP unit said, “No one commits rape intentionally. It happens by mistake.”

    We are still a country where many believe that women have lesser intrinsic worth. Between the rapists in the film who tried to “teach her a lesson,” some of our political leaders, NRI aristocrats and male relatives, rioters who use rape as a weapon against women, unconstitutional village councils that sanction gang rape, policemen who violate women in custody, and the Army that has been accused of rape in Kashmir and the Northeast, there is a stunning and shocking sameness.

    This sameness of Indian male behaviour across professions, classes, caste and religion is the context in which the film should be seen. The film only tries to understand one case, but in doing so it helps to reflect on how ordinary men are capable of stomach churning violence, no moral capacity, and remain unaware — like the rapist in the film — that they have done something monstrous.

    (Vasundhara Sirnate is the Chief Coordinator of Research at The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy.)

    The banality of evil revisited - The Hindu
     
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  3. Bangalorean

    Bangalorean Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Typical feminist tripe. Yeah, you've convinced me now that you are really a feminist. No one else can come up with such a puke-inducing piece.

    There are debates, and there are arguments. People may buy your arguments or they may not. So now, that becomes an example of "male superiority"? So the men on this forum become equivalent to Mukesh Singh and co.?

    Most of your arguments were "disregarded" because you weren't making sense, or because you were just making up random stuff on the fly. You want people to agree with everything you say just because you are a woman? And God forbid, if someone dares to disagree with you, he becomes a "woman hater".

    Frankly, you haven't displayed a great level of critical thinking and logic in your arguments on the other thread, you just went on and on, hardly ever answered pointed questions posed to you, and you are now playing the "woman card". So typical. Here is another example of someone like you:

     
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  4. Rashna

    Rashna Senior Member Senior Member

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    I am new on this forum. I am not familiar with people or with the interface. In this situation it takes time for me to make come backs when 4 people are talking to me all at once. That said how many of you respond to sense? I posted some stuff for you about the fact that each case is handled on its own merits and you just threw it out without even looking at it. Because you have already made up your mind. And why is your mind already made up? Read this article posted in the thread above to find out. I didn't come here for feminism. But looks like all the disgruntled misogynists here need a taste of their own medicine. Let's roll.


     
  5. Rashna

    Rashna Senior Member Senior Member

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    Beyond misogyny, Indian men face deeper crisis



    If films are a reflection of society, then last week's release Dum Lagaa Ke Haishaa (DLKH) does not show Indian men in a very flattering light.

    Peevish wimp is the kindest description of the actions of the male protagonist played by actor Ayushmann Khurrana – he's a hypocrite, an ineffectual cad so full of self-pity that he thinks nothing of bad-mouthing his wife in front of friends. Even his pathetic attempt at suicide draws exasperation rather than pity. His wife, in contrast, is much his superior; she's bright, has a sense of humour and enough self-belief not to be shaken by the ill winds life blows her way. Despite having a similar, lower middle class, conservative background as her husband, she has no trouble getting a degree and a job on her own steam. Sexually, too, she has no qualms taking the lead, while he's the sissy who fails even in his resolve not to consummate their marriage.

    Indian men, you could say, have never had a great image to begin with. Much as everyone's been shocked by what they've heard Mukesh Singh and his lawyers say on camera to Leslee Udwin, these are views — as Javed Akhtar so eloquently told Parliament — that a majority of Indian men harbour. In Mardistan (Macholand), a young college student in Chandigarh, well dressed and shown riding a heavy motorcycle about town, says: "After the Delhi rape, many guys said that these things happen because girls expose themselves so much. Why should they roam around at night? Girls should stay at home; if they go out they're bad girls. This is how many young men of my generation think." Misogyny runs deep in India, and it cuts across barriers of class, caste, age, religious or educational qualifications.

    Perhaps, it's not just misogyny, but a deeper crisis that Indian men face today. There is, for one, the increasing incidence of road rage in our cities. Earlier this month, video showed two men in an SUV repeatedly battering and abusing a woman in Ahmedabad whose car had grazed past theirs. While women are more prone to anxiety and depression in India, it is men who commit more suicides.

    Traditionally, masculinity has been all about being strong and aggressive, not showing emotions, providing for the family, protecting it and having authority over it. That's the prototype, the ideal that a large number of men (though not all) conform to. Thus, a large number of Indian men, as a United Nations Population Fund study showed, will not allow their wives to the wear clothes of their choice and don't expect their partners to refuse when they wanted sex, or use contraceptives without their permission. The study, which tried to pin down these gendered notions of being male and female, and how far they were responsible for sexual violence, found that "being a real man" was to be a figure of "authority", while women were expected to prove their femininity with qualities of "tolerance and acceptance". The problem is that more and more Indian women are flouting this role that men, and the patriarchal order, have decided for them.

    This is an evolutionary gap, and it's driven by how women like DLKH's Sandhya or the unfortunate Nirbhaya have stepped out of their traditional gender roles and seized the opportunities that globalised and newly prosperous India have brought their way, while men have continued to hold on to their regressive, patriarchal ways. Look around you – men (or most of them, at any rate), still consider the kitchen as unknown territory, have no role in their children's education, and would have no idea how to make a bed or sew a button. On the other hand, more and more women are going out to work, managing homes and kids, dressing as they please in clothes they buy with the money they earn, meeting friends and even going on holidays on their own. The downside, of course, is that it has made women more vulnerable, too, to sexual predators whether in offices or in cabs who can't seem to think of women as anything more than sexual objects.

    DLKH is not the only recent Hindi film to have flagged this conflict of old and new, of mismatched expectations arising out of fast-evolving gender roles where women seem more nimble footed in embracing change, while men cling on to the old. Think of Queen or that funny scene from Gangs of Wasseypur 2, where the character played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui tries to persuade the girl (Huma Kureishi) he finds attractive to go out for a movie with him. "You'll hold my hand," she tells him; "No, I won't," he protests and so it goes on, until he swears, "Ma kasam", that he won't. "Why don't you take your mother then," she finishes.

    Beyond misogyny, Indian men face deeper crisis | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis
     
  6. Bangalorean

    Bangalorean Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    1. There is only one person on this forum who can be called a "misogynist" (Jatt-Hindustan). No one else whom you've been interacting with can be called a misogynist. Not everyone who disagrees with you, or even fights with you, is a "misogynist". This overuse of such terms is sickening. Don't behave like Puja Mehra, whose screenshots I posted above.

    2. Yes, 4 people were talking to you simultaneously. But its hardly a "coordinated action". That's how forums work. If you are in a minority (in terms of opinions), more people will come up to oppose you. And by the way, everyone was remarkably polite and decent, apart from the last-minute spats you had with ladder. BTW, this is another example of a privilege extended to females. If it had been a male up against @Mad Indian and the other posters, they would have ripped his backside out - look at some of the old posts and the language that is used on a regular basis.

    3. Your argument about each case being handled on its own merits was "thrown out" because I am saying that there should be no "case" at all. It should not be called "rape" at all. I told you this multiple times. Go back and check.
     
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  7. ladder

    ladder Senior Member Senior Member

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    Yeah Miss Puke @Rashna,

    Now for them Indian Government is BJP govt. I can see from where they are coming.

    The Ban ( it is not a ban but suspension of broadcast) was up-held by trail court before it came into effect. The PIL to remove the 'ban' was stayed by even high court.

    Still it's BJP that is MCP.

    Yeah Miss Dumbo any more points? Or you need more borrowed shoulders?
     
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  8. Rashna

    Rashna Senior Member Senior Member

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    @admin, @moderator
    Please add an ignore button to the interface. I am quite sick of this person calling me names.

     
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  9. Rashna

    Rashna Senior Member Senior Member

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    Whether it is a co-ordinated action or not you guys are just full of negativity. Add to that this person @ladder who has been attacking me personally for no rhyme or reason. If you are coming at me with a premise that i am a fool just because i am female then i can definitely smell misogyny from a distance. I won't say it applies to all the people on this forum but there are many borderline cases and at least 2-3 extreme ones. In any event this is getting too tiresome for me. I am not interested in personal gang up war against a female just because there isn't any moderation going on here. @jus asked me to comment on that thread so i did. I would have stuck to politics and foreign affairs as i love doing. I detest any kind of stereotyping but i have posted this thread to make a case. If you stereotype women, then women can stereotype you too. And there is enough evidence to back up this claim, unlike rants by individuals on that threat.
    I will leave you guys with this thought, I am a confident, educated, fun loving woman who has more men as friends than women. Why would i land up on a defence forum otherwise? I like discussing and debating and arguing but its never for feminism. Anyway i think i would be rather wasted here. So adios everybody. Sorry if i offended any male ego during my short stay here. This thread is my parting salvo to you!


     
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  10. Bangalorean

    Bangalorean Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    That's why I told you, this topic has outlived its utility, and its better to get back to AAP and Pakistan etc. for the time being.

    Its not about "male ego" or anything, you have taken individual disagreements/fights/abuses to be a war on "women", and you have created this thread, and this is really playing the "woman card". So what if you got abused - everyone on this forum has got severe abuse and outrageous comments several times. But you have begun playing the woman card, calling people who disagree with you "misogynist", constantly playing up the fact that people are disagreeing with you "because you are a woman".

    Anyway, carry on with the foreign affairs discussions. That ought to be more interesting than all this tripe.
     
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  11. Rowdy

    Rowdy Co ja kurwa czytam! Senior Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Rashna

    Rashna Senior Member Senior Member

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    You started it didn't u. hehehe. You shud be happy.:rofl:
     
  13. Bangalorean

    Bangalorean Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    One thing though - there are very very very few women who are interested in foreign affairs, defence, national security, etc. Yeah, its a stereotype but its a true one. ;) A Haklu film (Shah Rukh Khan film) like K3G or DDLJ will see girls swooning, but a movie like Baby will see less positive feedback from women.

    Maybe @Rashna can introduce more women to these issues (foreign affairs, geopolitics, etc.) and bring them here.
     
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  14. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    @Rashna,

    Yes, there are people who have imbibed the psyche of male superiority from domestic experience and their social background and environment.

    Such people exist and some are 'opinion makers' like the good old fuddy duddy Mulayam Singh, who is hardly mulayam in his thoughts and deed or his sidekick Azam Khan or whatever.

    Let us analyse this social issue calmly and more pragmatically.

    The problem that you face in India is not only misogyny and patriarchy, but the incessant barrage of misandry (hatred of men) that has become fashionable with the like of the shrill cacophony of women on TV debates like Kavita Srivastava and Kavita Krishnan , if that is their names.

    It is not that men are not aware of their shortcomings. They are. But then so are women who have many shortcomings. After all, we are but human with human foibles. To hold one or the other for all the ills of society is not only illogical, but indeed, stupid. Unfortunately, while Mulayam Singh and Azam Khans turn out to be stupid, if not idiotic, so do Krishnan and Srivastava, their women like avatars. Fancy labels like misogyny and patriarchy and misandry does not help, nor do the shrill cacophony of Kavita Srivastava (in her gruff man like voice) and Kavita Krishnan.

    One must state one's point rationally, logically and persuasively and not make it a 'contest' so that the popularity ratings soar.....that is, if they are sincerely wanting to change the mindset of the society.

    Why do I say that?

    It is because if one, as an entity and group, is kicked around the deck all the time, and mostly without logic and reason, but for the follies of a handful of their gender idiots, then one gets on the defensive. Then, they start seeking their 'space' with equal illogicality and irrationality.

    That is why you see the backlash that astounds you.

    Further, what gets one's goat is that while we celebrate the greatness of India and Indianness, we clutch with glee to prove a point with 'western' psychological lexicons and quote with aplomb western statistical data, which are most contrived to suit their purpose, and use it as if the West is the sole moral compass.

    Do not get perturbed with posts that sometimes hurt. I have faced the same too, even though I am the 'Chairman'.

    If you feel strongly, report them.

    In life, one has to develop a thick skin since freedom of speech, thought and deed is enshrined in our Constitution, even though they are most abused.

    Chin up and pip pip.

    Fight on. Never give up no matter how strong is the Opposition, adversaries and the mud slingers.

    ***************

    I heard a debate yesterday, where Admiral Sushil Kumar, a Chirstian boy, was airing the 'fear' of the Christian community over all the sacrilege done to the Churches in Delhi and the rape of the Nun in Bengal. He was joined most vociferously by that unwashed John Dayal.

    The good Admiral, giving out his service in the Navy history, stated the 'virus' will hit the Armed Forces which is the only secular force in the country that is holding India together.

    This good and 'secular' admiral repeatedly failed to amplify how and where the 'virus' had hit the Armed Forces.

    John Dayal, who anyway comes out as an idiot all the time, could not answer as to why the Nun's case, bandied around by the Church and the Vatican (which sent Cardinals) as a Hinudvta plot, has turned out to be a mere robbery, with all but one of the criminals being Muslims and Bangladeshis. Dayal tried to get tangential and obfuscate.

    Now, what have these two done? Have they batted well for Christianity? Not at all.

    Even those who thought it could have been a 'Hiduvta plot' because of all the media hype, the indignation of the Church and the arrival of the Cardinals from the Vatican, when presented with the truth of the Bangladeshi criminals being behind the act and that too with a minority friendly Mamata Bannerjee govt unravelling the fact, realised that the Church, Sunil Kumar, Rebello and John Dayal was parroting a script orginated by the Vatican and endorsed by Obama.

    Who lost? Guess?

    Therefore, one must analyse issuers rationally and then go ballistic,
     
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  15. Rowdy

    Rowdy Co ja kurwa czytam! Senior Member

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    I am katti with you ... you did not comment on my yemen thread.
     
  16. Rashna

    Rashna Senior Member Senior Member

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    Now another form of it! Oh god! There seems to be no light at the end of this tunnel. On a lighter note i am scared of people called "Rowdy" or behaving like they are. Did you find your handle personifies the sentiment of the male population here? lolz.


     
  17. Rowdy

    Rowdy Co ja kurwa czytam! Senior Member

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  18. Adux

    Adux Senior Member Senior Member

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    @banglorean,

    Lets talk about this tripe.. I am a man, single and life is shit...if you are man...Woman want equality, then they have to wade through the same shit men have to go through

     
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  19. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The cyber space is actually very Rowdy, with or without such a moniker.

    Kapil, the Sibal, batted for 66A and got mud on his face.

    All one requires is body armour all over and more so, on the head and heart.
     
  20. Rashna

    Rashna Senior Member Senior Member

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    To be honest with you i have never experienced pure misogyny in my life. At least not in the way that it would leave me scarred. I know that unless there is a deliberate attempt at causing hurt it could be anything from personal dislike to individual problems that get expressed in the form of antagonism. That's also the reason why i never thought of women's issues or problems as feminism. Because its not like i am unable to deal with things which i have experienced. I am quite capable of handling any kind of attempt to make me a victim.

    Social issue does exist, and now i am kind of woken up from my daze. I am just thinking if any one of these people had the power to make a difference in my life how awful that would be. Surprisingly the older generation which should be more seeped in traditional thinking is more accommodating in accepting the change in gender rules. But the other lot comes across as being unable to accept the changes in the role of women. They are living in the world where they hold all the aces. When that doesn't happen they react, and the reaction is ugly to say the least.

    I would have expected a little more maturity from a crowd which should be able to look at both sides of the coin. If feminism is toxic then so is misogyny and patriarchy. Fix the latter and there won't be any need for the former.

    I have not seen the documentary "India's daughter", for 2 reasons
    1) I did not agree that they should have allowed the rapist to describe the inhumane behavior he and his gang displayed (and without any remorse)

    2) I genuinely thought it was mis-representing Indian men.

    But now i have to re-think, it is quite possible that this rot has sunk in pretty deep.

    Thanks for the words of encouragement.


     
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  21. Rashna

    Rashna Senior Member Senior Member

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    The last good thing Kapil Sibal did was launching Akash tablet. :p Actually @Rowdy is the least rowdy of them. :p



     
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