The talk of the day is about the stalking ordeal that a woman named Varnika Kundu had to undergo on 4th August 2017. Terms like rape, assault, stalking have become common in our society, not because our society is well educated because such incidents occur on a daily basis and people are exposed to such incidents frequently. If you scan the newspapers every day, you are guaranteed to find at least one such incident.
According to reports, Varnika, a 29-year-old disc jockey, and music producer was stalked by two men, Ashish Kumar and Vikas Barala who were under the influence of alcohol. She was on her way back home when the two men started following her in their white SUV.
They followed her for almost 6 km. However, even in the face of fear and threat, she kept a cool head and called the police for help. The police then intervened and arrested the two drunken men who were later bailed out. One of the accused, Vikas Barala, is the son of Haryana’s BJP leader Subhash Barala. This has led to this case becoming a high profile one with lots of media attention. The police have discovered the CCTV footage that clearly shows the men following Varnika that night. According to her, the men tried to block her way and had even tried to force their way into her car before the police responded.
Victim shaming has become a very common strategy that revolves around blaming the victim for the unfortunate incident. In most of these cases, there is someone out there who blames the woman for the incident. This case is no different. Varnika is being shamed for being out late at night and this has led many people to question her identity and integrity. In fact, Ramveer Bhatti, a BJP leader from Haryana, went on record to say that it was wrong on the victim’s part to be out late and daughters have to be home on time. According to him, it is not safe for women to be out this late. Isn’t it his job to keep the streets of Haryana safe and stop from such incidents from happening?
There are many questions that need answering. Is there a political conspiracy? Will Vikas Barala and Ashish Kumar get to walk unscathed? These kinds of incidents are on a rise. In addition, not all these incidents are reported. Some are just buried like they never happened. We need to take the safety of our women seriously and get in strict rules to prevent such incidents from happening. Who is to blame, Varnika for being out late or the men for misbehaving with a woman?
It’s for the people to decide.