#TalkingStalking: Break the Silence, Let These Voices Lead the Way
The case involving the stalking and attempted kidnapping of Varnika Kundu, a young woman in Chandigarh, stunned the country earlier this year. While this chilling episode was a reminder of how vulnerable women still are in India, many voices remained unheard.
#TalkingStalking is not just a campaign to break the silence around stalking, it is also a campaign to make stalking a non-bailable offence. Kundu is fronting our petition to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi.
The Quint’s petition also found a supporter in Lok Sabha MP Shashi Tharoor. He will present a Bill on this in Parliament’s Winter Session.
Think stalking should be made a non-bailable offence? Join the #TalkingStalking movement and sign the petition on Change.org.
The Quint asked readers from across India to share their worst stalking experiences with us. In a matter of a few days, our inbox was flooded with mails detailing incidents of stalking. In all these cases, there was a common thread — the stalker was still roaming free and fearless, while the victim was living in fear of being stalked, raped or harassed. Here are a few excerpts of the accounts:
‘My 14-Year-Old Body Gave Him Wet Dreams’
“Every day he would stalk me. I never looked into his eyes. I changed routes, I found a friend to accompany me, I took my brother along.... but nothing would stop him,” writes Aparna Mukherjee in her piece for The Quint. Read her account here.
‘My Stalker Cornered Me in the Dark, I was 14’
“The one most troubling part was when he followed me up to my home, and I wondered all along — how could he figure out where I lived? How long had he been following me? Since when. I didn't feel safe in my own home. Street safety is not our strongest feat anyway,” writes Iewa Shukla in her piece for The Quint. Read the full account here.
‘I Didn’t Realise My BF of 7 Years Was a Stalker’
An anonymous sender highlighted an oft-ignored fact – stalking isn’t always perpetrated by strangers. “When people talk of stalking, they always imagine a random stranger or acquaintance who suddenly becomes obsessed a la SRK inDa rr and starts doing OTT crazy things to 'make you his'. But in reality, stalking is much more dangerous and subtle than that,” writes this reader of The Quint. Read the full story here.
‘My Boss’ Son Sent Me Hundreds of E-Mails Daily’
“He knew where I worked, where I lived. He threatened to come to my house and “see to it” that I changed my mind. Once, he showed up at the office and said he’d be waiting for me outside. I was terrified,” Nilanjana Chakraborty wrote in her account. Read her full story here.
‘My Stalker Didn’t Have a Face, Just Many Numbers’
In her account for The Quint, Nidhi Mahajan highlights the importance of reporting the crime without delay. “I repeatedly asked him to stop the nonsense, to not call me anymore. I warned him that I will report him. The latter seemed like an empty threat, even to myself, because how was I going to report a nameless and faceless person,” she writes. Read the full story here.