60 interviews in a week, surge in Twitter followers: Varnika Kundu overwhelmed by supportpunjab Updated: Aug 11, 2017 15:11 IST
On August 6, some news channels ran her interview with her identity hidden, but it was the next day that she chose to reveal her identity.(HT Photo)
Thrown into the limelight by the unfortunate incident, Varnika Kundu has deftly coped with the pressure of the media. The 29-year-old DJ was allegedly stalked and chased on the streets of her city on the night of August 4.
Varnika, the daughter of an IAS officer, is still coming to terms with the fact that she is a beacon of hope for women across the country, who are raising their voice against not only the unsafe environment they live in but other ills such as character assassination and victim shaming.
However, her family says she cries at times, overwhelmed by the support she has received. “She breaks down twice or thrice while reading her texts,” said Satvika, her younger sister. Just when Varnika and her family were completing formalities on the morning after the incident, she started receiving calls from media organisations. On August 6, some news channels ran her interview with her identity hidden, but it was the next day that she chose to reveal her identity.
“I have lost count. While those from print, electronic asked for slots, many came to me without an appointment,” says Varnika, who has given 60 interviews since. Yet, she chose to remain calm as she narrated the episode each time. She adds, “I was calm because that is the truth, and everyone has been so supportive that I couldn’t say no. This is no longer about me, but all women who are not afraid of standing up against goons.”
She not only chose to keep her identity open but also hasn’t refused interviews. “That’s true. I intentionally did not refused unless I missed out on texts. The case has reached so far because of media support and those who have reached out to me. The least I can do is present my account in return,” she adds.
Varnika’s Facebook followers have increased from 400 to 12,000 since Saturday. Security remains a concern for her as she hasn’t had the time to think of what it will be like once she steps out.
However, Thursday brought some relief for her. Her 24-year-old sister says, “This is the first day she actually slept for a good seven hours and ate her lunch in peace,” adding, “I’ve actually been texting people that she will get back to them as soon as possible.” Varnika’s father, VS Kundu, says, “It wasn’t planned, but the media gave us the strength to continue with our fight. Like my daughter says this is for all the daughters out there who maybe got scared of raising their voice when they should have.”
As suggested by her lawyer, Varnika has chosen to keep herself away from the all-women’s march. “At least till the case is on, there is a chance of this getting politicised. I really wanted to be a part of it, but I’ve decided to stay out for now. Also, if I take part in one, I’ll have to take part in all,” she says.