August 9th, 2017
Two people, including the son of Haryana Bharatiya Janata Party chief, were arrested for allegedly stalking the daughter of a senior IAS officer. Vikas Barala, the 23-year-old son of BJP’s Subhash Barala was arrested on Friday night along with his friend Ashish Kumar, 27. They were later released on bail.
The Chandigarh Police has confirmed that it has retrieved CCTV footage of the incident. DJ Varnika Kundu, the victim in this case had accused the perpetrators of attempted kidnapping. After the case, some BJP leaders and members of the politician’s family resorted to victim shaming on social media.
Varnika, while recollecting the incident on social media said, “There were two guys in the SUV and they really seemed to be enjoying harassing a lone girl on the streets in the middle of the night.”
Girls should not be ‘roaming on roads’ at night, said BJP vice-president Ramveer Bhatti. He also added that girls’ parents must ensure that they don’t stay out after a certain time in the evening.
Shaina NC, a spokesperson of the party also took to Twitter to shame Varnika by posting her old pictures with two boys. She falsely claimed that one of them was Vikas Barala while terming Varnika as the “so called victim beti”. In the above mentioned twitter post, she tagged PM Narendra Modi, President Ramnath Kovind and Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar.
The backlash received by Varnika created a huge stir across all social media platforms with people calling her for being “brave” for standing up to her stalker. Women in huge numbers came out in solidarity with Varnika while criticising the victim shaming. They have been tweeting pictures of themselves out late at night using the hashtag, #AintNoCinderalla. Twitter saw a million posts of people who reacted to the archaic notions of BJP leaders as to how women should conduct themselves.
— Nabakalpita Bora (@NabakalpitaB) August 7, 2017
— Sharmistha Mukherjee (@Sharmistha_GK) August 7, 2017
— Poorva Sharma (@PforPoorva) August 7, 2017
— Divya Spandana/Ramya (@divyaspandana) August 7, 2017
— Mudra (@mudra_m) August 8, 2017
The Logical Indian take
The Logical Indian community staunchly condemns the archaic notions of what women should or shouldn’t do. We also actively voice against the kind of victim shaming which political leaders have been perpetrating towards Varnika. Women can do whatever they please without anyone dictating them to act in a particular manner.
Members of the Barala family blamed Varnika for the harassment she faced from her stalkers, which clearly points to the background Vikas comes from. Not only has he been conditioned to believe that women are not equal to men, his privileged connections also give him the impunity to act as per he pleases. And he did.
Victim blaming is a reminder of our society’s perception of women – as mere objects not allowed to question but follow the patriarchal norms set for them. It is nothing more than evading the responsibility for the crime.
The flood of pictures on Twitter calling out to our so-called leaders clearly points out to the fact that no one can shackle a woman’s right. They don’t need the opinion of regressive politicians on what they should (or should not) be doing at public spaces.
The Logical Indian community applauds Varnika upon taking the bold step to call out the perpetrators and urges the readers to do the same if they face a similar situation.