Happy independence day? not yet, ladies…


At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life…”  But when Mr. Nehru, does Independence Day dawn for Indian women?

When does it become safe for the women of the country to wear what they like? Without being pawed, grabbed, mauled…

When does it become acceptable for them to live the life they want? Single or coupled-up. Straight or gay. Sexual or asexual. When can they openly make those choices?

Which year does it become safe for a woman to go out at night, have a few beers, perhaps even go dancing? Rights that most women, in many parts of the world, take for granted.

It has been 70 years since India (and Pakistan) became independent nations. But ironically, the freedom that came at the stroke of midnight is certainly not a freedom enjoyed by the women of these two nations.

DJ Varnika Kundu was “chased and almost kidnapped” when she was getting home on a Friday night. In response to a Facebook post about her ordeal, a senior politician of the ruling party responded in this empathetic fashion: “The girl should not have gone out at 12 in the night. Why was she driving so late in the night?”

The feisty women of India began posting photos of themselves out at night under the hashtag #AintNoCinderella. It makes me so proud reading their tweets, their comments, their ‘showing the finger’ to the politicians who are seemingly stuck in the last century.

Want to read more?

I read the article with joy but here’s what made me really sit up. Journalist Palak Sharma who joined the campaign, posted a picture of herself sipping a drink and winking at the camera. As you do.

She got loads of positive responses. And then lots of threats. She got called a whore & a slut. Did she cower down & retreat? Not our girl…

“I’m not afraid,” says Palak Sharma. “Nothing is going to stop us, no amount of naysayers can frighten us. We aren’t Cinderellas, we don’t have to be home at midnight.”

So as we approach midnight here in the UK, I wish you Happy Independence Day.

Despite knowing that if you’re Indian and female, the freedom struggle is still ongoing. But hell, it’s getting a whole lot more kick ass…


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