Women in India have been posting selfies on social media of themselves out after midnight with messages by using the hashtag #AintNoCinderella after a male politician questioned why a woman, who was reportedly stalked, was out at night.
The woman, named Varnika Kundu, was chased by two men while driving home in Chandigarh after midnight on Saturday (5 August).
"Why was she allowed to roam around at night?" Ramveer Bhatti, a senior politician in the northern state, had asked. "Why was she driving so late in the night? The atmosphere is not right. We need to take care of ourselves."
"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?" Bhatti was quoted saying by The Times of India newspaper.
The 29-year-old victim, who is a professional radio disc jockey, posted an account of her ordeal on her Facebook page saying her two stalkers chased her in their car for a few kilometres before cutting her off. They then approached the vehicle on foot and began beating the vehicle's windows and trying to enter.
In an interview with NDTV news channel, Kundu and her father rejected the politician's criticism. She said that the comments were part of a "well-established tactic" designed to intimidate her into backing off. "I'm supposed to be wondering about what this is going to do to my image and my life. But what would those guys have done to my life if they had caught me? What I do and where I go and at what time I do it is my business."
And now, hundreds of women including Congress party leader Sharmishta Mukherjee and actor-turned-politician Divya Spandana have come out in support of Kundu. They tweeted selfies of themselves out at midnight and mocked the politician for his absurd views.
"If I'm out at 12am, it DOES NOT mean I'm to be raped, molested, chased. My dignity is my right 24X7 #AintNoCinderella," Sharmishta Mukherjee tweeted.