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.
The 29-year-old woman from Chandigarh said she was followed and nearly kidnapped by two men - one of them being the son of Haryana BJP chief Subhash Barala - who chased her vehicle as she drove home in Chandigarh on August 5 midnight.
The stalking incident snowballed into major controversy after Chandigarh police said that it had retrieved footage from cameras that reportedly showed one of the two suspects was Vikas Barala, the son of Haryana's BJP president Subhash Barala, the Hindustan Times reported. Virender Kundu, one of the protesters, said, "The family of the victim also belongs to the Kundu clan; her ancestors belong to Titoli village".
He said: 'The girl should not have gone out at 12 in the night. The atmosphere is not right.
Ramveer Bhatti, the area vice president of the Bharatiya Janata party, said the shocking incident would not have happened if she had not been out "so late at night". "We need to take care of ourselves", Bhatti, told news channel CNN-News18.
Since then, innumerable tweets with the hashtag #AintNoCinderella has flooded twitter with politicians and commoners coming out alike in their defiance of Bhatti's regressive remarks.
"No matter what time of the day it is, I am definitely not "asking for it", says Surekha Rao, from Bombay, when asked about attitudes towards women in India.
After hearing the politician's comments, Divya Spandana - Indian actress and former member of parliament - created #AintNoCinderella in an effort to remind the world that today's society isn't some 17th century fairytale where women should be held to a strict midnight curfew. I want to ask him who is he to question us?
India will soon be celebrating 70 years of its independence, and Rekha Navani, from Mumbai, says she is exasperated that there are much bigger issues to sort in her country than what women wear or what time they get home.
He was originally let off, but after Kundu's Facebook post of her attack went viral, police were accused of showing bias against the politician's son.
The selfie is officially taking on regressive India, and we hope it wins. "My dignity is my right 24X7", she tweeted. Journalist Palak Sharma told the BBC of the Cinderella campaign, 'Nothing is going to stop us, no amount of naysayers can frighten us'.
"We all know most such cases of harassment go unpunished and even unreported".