As DJ Varnika Kundu’s case shows, In­dia still loves vic­tim-blam­ing. Delhi’s women DJs say it’s high time they got re­spect

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Ab­hi­nav Verma

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


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