#AintNoCinderella: Backlash as Indian politician questions why some women are out late at night

Vendors take shelter under plastic tarpaulins as others work during a heavy rain shower at a wholesale vegetable market in Chandigarh, India, in this 2015 archive photo. (REUTERS/Ajay Verma)
Updated 08 August 2017

#AintNoCinderella: Backlash as Indian politician questions why some women are out late at night

NEW DELHI: Hundreds of women in India have taken to social media to post selfies of themselves out at midnight with the hashtag #AintNoCinderella after a senior politician questioned why a women, who was reportedly stalked, was out at night.
The 29-year-old woman from the northern city of Chandigarh in Haryana state said she was followed and almost kidnapped by two men who pursued her car as she drove home in the early hours of Saturday.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said one of the men is the son of a prominent politician from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Haryana.
But while police arrested the politician’s son and his friend, registered a complaint against them and released them on bail, the BJP’s vice chief in Haryana has blamed the victim for being out late — triggering a backlash on Twitter.
“The girl should not have gone out at 12 in the night. Why was she driving so late in the night?” BJP state vice president Ramveer Bhatti told a local television station on Monday.

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.
“If I’m out at 12 am, it DOES NOT mean I’m to be raped, molested, chased. My dignity is my right 24X7. #AintNoCinderella,” tweeted Sharmistha Mukherjee, a politician from the opposition Congress Party, with a picture of her in the dark.
“Dear regressive India, I will do as I please, night or day. Don’t ever think you have the right to stop me #AintNoCinderella,” wrote another user with the twitter handle @queenpsays, along with a picture of her in jeans in a red top.

Barrage of threats
Indian women face a barrage of challenges ranging from child marriage, dowry killings and human trafficking to rape and domestic violence, largely due to deep-rooted attitudes that view them as inferior to men.
There were 327,394 reports of violence against women such as rape, molestation, abduction and cruelty by husbands in 2015, up more than 40 percent from 2011, according to the latest data from India’s National Crime Records Bureau.
The high-profile gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman on a moving bus in Delhi in December 2012 sent shockwaves across India and led to countrywide protests, forcing the government to enact stiffer penalties for rape and criminalizing stalking.
The incident over the weekend hit the headlines on Sunday after the victim, who is a professional radio disc jockey, posted an account of her ordeal on her Facebook page.
“I was in a full-blown panic attack by now because they would keep trying to corner me, and I’d somehow maneuver my way out and keep moving,” she wrote, describing how the men pursued her, blocked her vehicle and tried to open her car door.
“My hands shaking, my back spasming from fear, half in tears, half bewildered, because I didn’t know if I’d make it home tonight.”


First UAE sighting of one of the world’s rarest birds in Abu Dhabi 

Updated 20 September 2020

First UAE sighting of one of the world’s rarest birds in Abu Dhabi 

  • Known as a Steppe Whimbrel, the bird is estimated to have a global population of only around 100
  • It is believed to have travelled in time for the autumn bird migration

DUBAI: One of the rarest birds in the world has been spotted in Abu Dhabi by two members of the Emirates Bird Records Committee (EBRC), according to state news agency WAM. 
Known as a Steppe Whimbrel, the bird - estimated to have a global population of only around 100 - was seen by Oscar Campbell and Simon Lloyd at the Saadiyat Beach Golf Course, WAM reported on Saturday.
Believed to have travelled in time for the autumn bird migration, the Steppe Whimbrel is an extremely rare sub-species of the widespread Whimbrel, which regularly passes through the Emirates in spring and autumn.
The Steppe Whimbrel seen in Abu Dhabi is believed to have been born this year, making it the first time a juvenile Steppe Whimbrel has been spotted anywhere in the world, according to WAM.
“On August 29, we were studying around 20 whimbrels on the Saadiyat Beach golf course. We were stunned when one flew off showing the distinctive white wings, clearly different from the other birds,” Campbell and Lloyd told WAM. 
“We immediately realized the potential significance of this so we concentrated on observing the bird and obtaining photographs, allowing us to check the key identification features,” they said.
Campbell and Lloyd then shared their photographs with world’s top expert on Steppe Whimbrels, Gary Allport, who confirmed their findings. 
“The discovery of a Steppe Whimbrel in Abu Dhabi is remarkable in itself, and confirms our suspicion that the migration route of the sub-species passes through the Arabian peninsula region,” Allport said. 
“What is even more remarkable is that this is the first time ever, anywhere in the world, that a juvenile Steppe Whimbrel has been seen in the field…It’s an amazing find,” he added. 
The Saadiyat Beach Golf Course management was delighted with the discovery. 
“When you look at the significance of sighting the Steppe Whimbrel in Abu Dhabi, its history and the subspecies actually being declared extinct in 1995, it is pretty amazing,” Clinton Southorn, Cluster Director of Agronomy for managers Troon Golf, told WAM.
“This is one of the reasons the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club has worked hard to achieve its Audubon certification and showcase the positive environmental impact the course can have on the environment,” he added.