Krishnendu Nair is a 20-year-old law student intent on improving the justice-delivery system of the country. She believes that even the smallest unit of a society holds the power to profoundly transform a community. She enjoys spending time with children and getting to know the world from their perspective. In her free time, she’s most likely be found in the company of books, surfing online content or watching documentaries that unveil hard-hitting realities of life.
Victim shaming in India has scored another low recently. Varnika Kundu, the brave 29 year old DJ and the daughter of an IAS officer was lucky enough that her stalkers couldn’t physically harm her. The ordeal of being chased by the son of an influential person and his friend might have been nerve-racking for her but the mental agony she would have had to experience for being blamed for the incident can only be imagined.
What is worse is that instead of extending support to her, many in the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) resorted to labelling this incident as fake news propagation. To top it all, it was a woman (BJP spokesperson Shaina NC) who posted an old photo of Miss Kundu with two friends on Twitter and tried to pass off one of the guys in the image as Vikas Barla. Alt News, a famous fake news debunker website investigated and confirmed from the victim herself that Vikas Barla was not present in the photo. Later on, Miss Shaina NC deleted the post and blamed it on hackers. Yet, there were many who, even after acknowledging the genuineness of the crime, blamed the victim for being out late at night. It is sad to see some of our politicians put politics above women’s safety.
The determination and grit with which Miss Kundu stood her ground is praiseworthy. Many on Twitter came out in support of her by sharing their late night photos under the hashtag #AintNoCinderella. We must not forget that in this particular instance, the police acted swiftly and perhaps they couldn’t brush it off lightly because this was no normal case. Moreover, given Miss Kundu’s family background, she had a credible stance to voice her concerns but after looking at the huge number of people questioning the authenticity of her allegations, it can only be said that an ordinary girl would have been left remedy-less in a similar situation.
Such character assassination of women victims in 21st century is regressive and shocking to say the least. What makes these people question the victim and turn a blind eye to the aggressor? Why were these people not concerned that the accused here were in a drunk and inebriated state at the time of incident and instead wanted the victim to be medically tested for alcohol? Why can’t our political leaders come out and openly support what is right? It is nothing but a shame having to live with people who indulge in victim shaming. Collectively, we must condemn such statements.
Opinions are of the writer.