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On the deafening rise of hate speech in the country

On the deafening rise of hate speech in the country

A report by Washington based India Hate Lab (IHL) reveals that hate speech against minorities in India in general and BJP-ruled states in particular are disturbingly on the rise. Where 225 incidents were recorded in the first half of 2023, the numbers marked 75 percent rise reaching 498 hate speeches in the second half. Most cases were reported from BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra and U.P and the centrally policed state of Delhi as well. As many as 238 of the speeches making up 36 percent were all calls for unleashing violence against Muslim community. Speakers mostly harped on allegations such as anti-state conspiracy, population jihad, love jihad, halal jihad, and land jihad. IHL has documented that hates speeches were at increased levels during the 2023 Assembly polls in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Telangana in the months of August and November. Most speeches were exhortations for socio-economic boycott of Muslims. Vishwa Hindu Parishad and its youth wing Bajrang Dal were the main peddlers of the hate. The study, revealing the names of some BJP MPs and MLAs, elucidated that they made themselves notable with their hate speeches. Alongside names of T. Raj Singh and Nitesh Rane on the list are international Hindu Parishad leader Praveen Togadia, owner of Sudarshan Suresh Chavhanke and hindutva leaders such as Kalicharan Maharaj and Yati Narsinghanand.

Every time complaints about hate speech cropped up in the Supreme Court, judges of the concerned benches always ordered strict action. The order handed out by Justice Sanjiv Khanna and S.V. Bhatti in August 2023 is an example of it; the hate speeches that fueled religious violence in Haryana was the background. However, our experiences drive home the fact that no result should be expected from such judgments; figures released by the India Hate Lab has unraveled the same truth. Fundamentally, Hindutva outfits and governments have no other way than the blind and despicable hate propaganda in order to stir up majority Hindus for votes. The question is why they have to resort to Muslim hate propaganda over and again to gain public support nevertheless being in power for nearly ten years. Why shouldn’t Prime Minister Narendra Modi , who claims to be winning 400 seats in the upcoming elections, urge his supporters to maintain peace, think creatively and work together joining hands with all sections of people.

Why didn’t the ministers and parliamentary party stop the BJP M.P who showered revolting racial slur against BSP Member of Parliament Danish Ali?Why have they, who built Ram Temple spending crores and consecrating it while portraying Lord Ram as the epitome of Justice and love for humanity, not yet imbibed any of the touted qualities of Lord Ram? Why did not PM Modi, who claims both at home and abroad that inclusiveness is his policy, urge his followers to turn away from tormenting both mentally and physically the country’s 20 crore Muslim minority? Does it mean that Modi administration cannot stop BJP state governments from throwing to the wind even the orders handed by the apex court? IHL report that tarnishes the image of the country should not be treated vengefully but reminding that it should be approached with remedial measures.

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TAGS:#Hate speech#Editorial
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