What It’s Like to Face Your Stalker In Court: Varnika Kundu
My experience in the courtroom was interesting, to say the least.
It was educational; I learnt a lot in the last couple of months about how the judiciary actually works.
It was also extremely harrowing and nerve-racking, with the constant questions, most of which were relevant thanks to the prosecutor and the judge. But some far-fetched allegations were, and still are, being cast on me and my father.
I did my best to refute the ridiculous claims made by the defence counsel, and I sincerely hope the judiciary can sift through the rubble and get to the real story of what happened that night.
My part as a witness is now done, but the battle is far from over.
I feel some relief, but the real relief will only come when the judiciary delivers a fair verdict that gives the accused the punishment they deserve. And I still keep my faith in the system, and hope that this case will continue to be handled in the same efficient way it has been handled so far.
I would like to say to every woman out there, that it might be difficult and it might require effort and patience, but every time a victim stands up for her rights and emerges victorious, it will make things a little easier for the next one to raise her own voice!
We HAVE to fight, not only for ourselves and for the present, but for a safer future for all the women of the country!
I would also like to talk about the #TalkingStalking campaign that The Quint has been working relentlessly on for the last few months, and their brilliant initiative to help make stalking a non-bailable offence.
I am a part of and support this campaign because I believe it is essential to recognise the severity of stalking as a crime!
It is time we stop taking it lightly, and understand it to be, in most cases, a precursor to much more serious crimes.
It is high time that people (of all genders) stopped being afraid to report cases of stalking, for fear that the police or anyone else might not take them seriously.
The system needs to ensure that the people it has been built for, namely the victims, feel comfortable enough to approach the authorities with their problems, instead of living in constant anxiety and fear, and feeling helpless from not knowing where to go for help.
It is a basic human right, freedom, and we must stop taking lightly anyone who thinks it is okay to encroach on someone else’s personal space.
Stalking is NOT a joke, and the only way we can stop it is by making sure that any and all victims’ voices are heard with the gravity they deserve.
This requires that we strike fear into the hearts of perpetrators, by making it a non-bailable offence, and by ensuring that the relevant authorities effectively implement that law.
To a better, safer and free-er future for our country.