Women in India Are Sharing Selfies at Midnight in an Online Protest

Women are taking down patriarchy and regressive mindset one selfie at a time

Following the incident, BJP leader Ramveer Bhatti stated that women should not be out after midnight, and driving so late in the night.

Indian women are flooding social media with "midnight selfies" after a prominent politician implied that a woman who claimed to have narrowly escaped being kidnapped should not have been out at night.

On Friday night, the son of an Indian politician was arrested for stalking a woman, Varnika Kundu, in the northern city of Chandigarh.

Twitter was flooded with women posting pictures of themselves outside their homes at night, mocking Bhatti and condemning his remarks which they said were shaming victims instead of supporting them.

The ordeal was even discussed by the vice president of the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP), Rammer Bhatti who made a decision to claim that it was the time of night, not the two men harassing her, that actually put Kundu in danger.

Kundu carried on to say she felt lucky for "not lying raped and murdered in a ditch somewhere". "They should not be allowed to roam out of the house late in the night". "The girl should not have gone out at 12 in the night", he said of the 29-year-old. The atmosphere is not right.

Their message is clear: women should be able to do as they wish, no matter the time of day, without being attacked for it - and then blamed for provoking others' behaviour. "We need to take care of ourselves", Bhatti, told news channel CNN-News18.

"I think posting a picture with the hashtag #AintNoCinderella is a way for women to share their independence and to show people that they aren't helpless victims".

The Times of India quoted Bhatti as saying: 'Parents must take care of their children.

The campaign was launched by Divya Spandana, head of the opposition Congress party's social media cell who is a popular film actress from the southern state of Karnataka and often goes by her screen name Ramya. "Children should come home on time, why stay out at night?"

Another Twitter user called San tweeted a photo of herself in a short pink dress, with the caption: "Ooops 1.45am and I am out on Delhi roads".

The post subsequently went viral, with 16k responses, 6.5k shares and hundreds of comments.

"By posting the selfie, I wanted to just create awareness of how we women are exhausted and exasperated of people dictating terms on what we should wear, how we should speak and at what time we should be back home". My dignity is my right 24X7. "But I'm not afraid", she tells the BBC. "Nothing is going to stop us, no amount of naysayers can frighten us".



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