WHEN WILL THEY STOP ASKING THAT QUESTION?
As DJ Varnika Kundu’s case shows, India still loves victim-blaming. Delhi’s women DJs say it’s high time they got respect
What was she doing there at that time?” That’s probably the world’s commonest question when it comes to any crime against a woman or teenage girl outside their home. It’s definitely the commonest question asked in India, and usually by a person in a position of some power.
No surprise, then, that the same question was raised in the case of disc jockey Varnika Kundu, 29, whose car was allegedly chased in Chandigarh by Vikas Barala, son of Haryana BJP leader Subhash Barala.
“Why did she step out at midnight?” asked Haryana BJP deputy president Ramveer Bhatti.
Refusing to be cowed down by political pressure, Varnika and her father, an IAS father, stuck to their guns and insisted that police arrest the culprits. As the case got huge publicity — Varnika and her family wrote about the ordeal on Facebook — the main accused was detailed and interrogated, given bail, and then arrested again.
The regressive remarks have now led to a Twitter campaign #AintNoCinderella, where women are posting photos of them enjoying a night out, in an attempt to shame Bhatti.
It’s probably going to be a long road to justice for Varnika. But one wonders about the experience of other female DJs — these are music professionals who have a very visible presence at events and parties and are, therefore, more at risk of being stalked than women in regular jobs. Talking to us, Delhi-based female DJs condemn this shameful incident.
Thank you women for being proactive about your rights and freedom! VARNIKA KUNDU, DJ, ON THE #AINTNOCINDERELLA CAMPAIGN