After Varnika Kundu, a 29-year-old DJ in India, alleged that she had been stalked and nearly kidnapped by two men — one of whom was a politician’s son — it wasn’t long before another politician shifted the blame onto Kundu’s shoulders.
“Why was she allowed to roam around at night?” questioned Ramveer Bhatti, a senior politician for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in comments made to the Times of India.
“Parents should not allow their children to stay out late,” he added, seemingly implying that the 29-year-old woman was just a child in his eyes. “What is the point of roaming around at night?”
Kundu had described the alleged incident on Facebook, writing that she was driving home after midnight over the weekend when two men in a car began following her and then swerved their car into hers before cutting her off and attempting to break into her vehicle.
In the post, Kundu said that the men had appeared to take pleasure in tormenting her, adding that she was glad she was “not lying raped and murdered in a ditch somewhere.” After it was revealed that the one of her alleged attackers was the son of a BJP chief Subhash Barala — a man whose nephew also stands accused of pressuring a minor into changing her statement after she was allegedly kidnapped and raped by one of Kuldeep’s relatives — criticism from men such as Bhatti, and support from other young Indian women, began flowing in.
Using the hashtag #AintNoCinderella, young women across the country began sharing images of themselves out at night and condemning those who would justify sexual harassment or make patriarchal judgements on a woman just because she was out late. As the movement began picking up steam, Sharmishta Mukherjee, a politician of the opposing Congress party, also tweeted her support.
Kundu hasn’t been keeping quiet either. In response to Bhatti’s criticism, she told NDTV that “it is none of his business … what I do and where. If it wasn’t for men like these, I wouldn’t be unsafe going out … whether it was 12 a.m., or 2 a.m., or 4 a.m..”
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Read the full story at The Telegraph.