Indian women have rallied in support after a male politician suggested that a woman in a stalking case was at fault for being “out so late.”
Women have been posting pictures to their social media accounts of them out after midnight in solidarity to Varnika Kundu, the victim of an attempted kidnap.
Kundu, a DJ in the city of Chandigarh, wrote a Facebook post, claiming she was chased and almost kidnapped by two men in a car while driving home in the early hours on Saturday.
In the viral post, Kundu describes the perpetrators following her for some miles, before swerving towards her car, cutting her off and attempting to enter her vehicle.
She said she was “not lying raped and murdered in a ditch somewhere” only because police arrived quickly, stopping the incident.
The case hit headlines when one of the men accused of stalking Kundu was revealed to be the son of a prominent politician with the Bharatiya Janata Party [BJP].
A senior leader for the BJP, Ramveer Bhatti blamed Ms Kundu for her ordeal.
“The girl should not have gone out at 12 in the night,” he told the CNN-News18 television channel.
“Why was she driving so late in the night? The atmosphere is not right. We need to take care of ourselves.”
Mr Bhatti then told The Times of India that “parents must take care of their children.”
“They shouldn’t allow them to roam at night. Children should come home on time, why stay out at night?”
Since his comments, women began posting photos of themselves out at night under the hashtag #AintNoCinderella.
Kundu’s refusal to back down, despite becoming a target of criticism, has resonated with many Indian women.
Palak Sharma, a journalist who joined in with the hashtag #AintNoCinderella, said she had received praise for joining the movement:.
But in the last two days, I’ve received lots of threats too. I’ve been called a whore, a slut,” she told the BBC.
“Think about it – I’m a journalist. I work for the government-run media. I’m no pushover and I’m being threatened for my tweet,” she said.
“But I’m not afraid,” Ms Sharma added.
“Nothing is going to stop us, no amount of naysayers can frighten us. We aren’t Cinderellas, we don’t have to be home at midnight.”