Hundreds of women have taken to Twitter to post selfies of themselves out at midnight with the hashtag #AintNoCinderella against the victim-blaming in the recent Chandigarh stalking case.
This incident has traumatized the country, and drawn tough reactions from all corners. It has also led to fresh discussions about women safety in India.
Varnika Kundu, daughter of a senior Haryana IAS officer was driving home a little late after midnight on August 4, when she was allegedly chased and harassed by two men in a white SUV. One of these men was allegedly Haryana BJP chief Subhash Barala’s son, Vikas Barala.
The woman alleged that the youths tried to intimidate her and abduct her.
In a Facebook post, Varnika said the two stalkers chased her in their car for some distance before cutting her off and approaching her vehicle on foot, beating on its windows and trying to enter. Narrating the horrific ordeal, Varnika had told the media she was lucky for not being the daughter of a common man.
"I'm lucky, it seems, to not be the daughter of a common man, because what chance would they have against such VIPs? I'm also lucky because I'm not lying raped and murdered in a ditch somewhere," she had written in a Facebook post.
was arrested on August 5 on the charges of stalking and harassing women. He was, however, granted bail on the same day. On Monday after the crucial CCTV video evidence went missing, the Chandigarh police recovered the missing footage of five key locations that showed Vikas and his friend chasing the woman in a car.
Soon after police said that the recovered footage shows Barala chasing the woman, Subhash Barala said the police is under no pressure and claimed that the victim was “like his daughter”.
In this incident, Chandigarh Police has been criticised for favouring the VIP brats. Opposition parties and leaders have been demanding that the Bharatiya Janata Party should seek Barala's resignation as the state BJP chief.
The incident has garnered strong reactions from all sides. Ramveer Bhatti, the area vice-president of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), said the incident would not have happened had Kundu not been out late.
“The girl should not have gone out at 12 in the night,” he said. “Why was she driving so late in the night? The atmosphere is not right. We need to take care of ourselves", he said.
Bhatti's comments sparked a resilient response from women on Twitter. Women took to social media to speak against this victim-blaming. They posted photos of themselves on nights out, with the hashtag ‘Aint No Cinderella’. Twitter was flooded with such posts, mocking Bhatti’s remark. This hashtag draws reference to the famous fairy tale in which Cinderella had to return home before midnight,
Congress leader Sharmishta Mukherjee and actor-turned-politician Divya Spandana, also known by her stage name, Ramya, also tweeted selfies of themselves out past midnight.
Men also lent support to women and tweeted using the hashtag.
Pallavi Ghosh, Senior Editor, CNN News 18 also took to Twitter to explain the entire incident.
Here are the other posts that are trending on Twitter:
In a Facebook post, Kundu also thanked women for supporting her.