Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from South Delhi, Ramesh Bidhuri, called a fellow MP, Danish Ali, ‘pimp’, ‘terrorist’, ‘militant’ and also us ed the words mullah and katwa – a pejorative word for a Muslim who is circumcised. The abuse was hurled across the floor of parliament. Bidhuri also demanded that Ali be thrown out of parliament. Sitting next to Bidhuri were two senior BJP leaders, Harsh Vardhan, former minister of health and also science and technology, and Ravi Shankar Prasad, former minister of law and justice and communications and information technology. Both of these senior members of the BJP were laughing throughout Bidhuri’s rant. Subsequently, the speaker of parliament, Om Prakash Birla, warned Bidhuri that such behaviour would lead to penalties in the future and he also expunged the abusive comments. The BJP has issued a show cause notice to Bidhuri but it remains to be seen if any action will be taken.
@ZuberMedia Hadapsar, 10 sep 2023 https://twitter.com/zubermedia/status/1701620141694558618?s=12&t=Esqni9aaHAq3vKp_y4THgw
video: https://twitter.com/i/status/1701620141694558618 सकल हिंदू समाज ने एक और नफरती रैली का आयोजन किया पुणे(महाराष्ट्र) में, जहां भाजपा के पूर्व विधायक और ओबीसी सेल के अध्यक्ष @iYogeshTilekar (मा आमदार, हडपसर विधानसभा । युवा मोर्चा अध्यक्ष, भाजपा, महाराष्ट्र प्रदेश (२०१५-२०२०)। ओबीसी मोर्चा अध्यक्ष, भाजपा, महाराष्ट्र प्रदेश (२०२०-२०२३)) ने मुसलमानों के खिलाफ साजिश पेश करते हुए #नफरत भरा भाषण दिया। Love jihad, Conversions,
Nearly 20 current and former faculty members of the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIM-B) have asked Indian corporates to defund “the spread of misinformation and hate speech through news channels and social media”, warning that “rapidly increasing levels of radicalization” are “fermenting an atmosphere conducive to large-scale violence “.
In a letter written in their personal capacity, the faculty members said they wanted to draw Corporate India’s attention to the “fragile state of internal security with an increasing risk of violent conflicts in the country”. They said that over the past few years, “an open and public exhibit of hatred towards minorities in public discourse has become common practice” in political discourse, television news and social media
It is time for the executive arm of the government as well as the political governance structures to display sagacity and shout out that enough is enough and put a stop to recurring incidents of hate speech.
An abridged version of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Shruti Narayan’s chapter in the anthology Religion, Hateful Expression and Violence is published here with the permission of the Torkel Opsahl Academic EPublisher (TOAEP).
The Supreme Court’s most recent judgment considering the issue of hate speech is Amish Devgan v. Union of India (‘Amish Devgan’). Devgan, a television journalist, faced criminal charges under various provisions of the IPC. The charges were filed after he referred to a saint in Islám as an “invader, terrorist and robber who had come to India to convert its population to Islam”, during a TV programme hosted by him. The Court refused to quash the criminal cases, which is an affirmation of the adequacy of existing criminal law to recognize hate speech, even if made accidentally or in error, as was claimed by Devgan. In its rather lengthy judgment, the Court embarked on a comprehensive review of Indian and foreign decisions on hate speech while referring to some helpful academic articles.
The judiciary too should be alive to the consequence of hate speech not being punished suitably and in time. It is often said that ‘delay defeats justice’. But what is more problematic with delay in punishing hate speech is not that justice is denied, but that freedoms in a free society get compromised or corroded to the detriment of targeted individuals, groups or communities. The Supreme Court appears to have taken notice of the urgency of policing hate speech. In a petition seeking redress against the proliferation of hate speech, the Court in October 2022 directed three state police forces to take immediate action to register cases against any incidents of hate speech in their jurisdictions, “even if no complaint is forthcoming”. The Court extended its order to all states in April 2023. It remains to be seen, however, whether state authorities use this order to prosecute genuine cases of hate speech.
UNITED NATIONS STRATEGY AND PLAN OF ACTION ON HATE SPEECH https://www.un.org/en/genocideprevention/documents/UN%20Strategy%20and%20Plan%20of%20Action%20on%20Hate%20Speech%2018%20June%20SYNOPSIS.pdf
Rather than prohibiting hate speech as such, international law prohibits the incitement to discrimination, hostility and violence (referred to here as ‘incitement’). Incitement is a very dangerous form of speech, because it explicitly and deliberately aims at triggering discrimination, hostility and violence, which may also lead to or include terrorism or atrocity crimes. Hate speech that does not reach the threshold of incitement is not something that international law requires States to prohibit.
Convening relevant actors When relevant to the context, the UN should support convening of key actors; reframe problems in ways that make solutions more attainable; introduce independent mediation and expertise; and build coalitions.
Engaging with new and traditional media The UN system should establish and strengthen partnerships with new and traditional media to address hate speech narratives and promote the values of tolerance, non-discrimination, pluralism, and freedom of opinion and expression
Using technology UN entities should keep up with technological innovation and encourage more research on the relationship between the misuse of the Internet and social media for spreading hate speech and the factors that drive individuals towards violence.
https://www.undp.org/sites/g/files/zskgke326/files/2023-02/UNDP-DFS-Stepping-Forward-Parliaments-in-the-Fight-Against-Hate-Speech.pdf Whilst disinformation is distinct from hate speech, it can have a symbiotic relationship with or reinforcing effect on its emergence. Disinformation can be seen as a driver of hate speech, which is often deployed as part of a concerted strategy to target or radicalize groups and individuals and lay the groundwork for hate speech, incitement to violence and actual violence.
Criminalizing Hate Speech: Perhaps the most forceful, but possibly the most complex and sensitive measure from a human rights perspective that a legislature can take against hate speech is to make it a crime. However, as the Human Rights Committee General Comment 34 of 2022 and the 2012 Rabat Plan of Action make clear, criminalization of expression should only be considered as a “last resort.” Other measures, including public statements by leaders, education and intercultural dialogue, should be considered first. Expression should be subject to criminal prosecution only if it meets a threshold of seriousness based on the following six variables:
1. social and political context of the speech;
2. status of the speaker;
3. intent to incite an audience towards a targeted group;
4. content and form of the speech;
5. extent of dissemination and;
6. likelihood of harm, including imminence
One-pager on “incitement to hatred” https://www.ohchr.org/sites/default/files/Documents/Issues/Opinion/SeminarRabat/Rabat_threshold_test.pdf
OHCHR and freedom of expression vs incitement to hatred: the Rabat Plan of Action https://www.ohchr.org/en/freedom-of-expression
The Rabat Plan notes with concern that perpetrators of incidents, which indeed reach the threshold of article 20 of the ICCPR, are not prosecuted and punished. At the same time,members of minorities are de facto persecuted, with a chilling effect on others, through the abuse of vague domestic legislation, jurisprudence and policies.
Political and religious leaders should refrain from using any incitement to hatred, but they also have a crucial role to play in speaking out firmly and promptly against hate speech and should make clear that violence can never be tolerated as a response to incitement to hatred https://www.ohchr.org/sites/default/files/Rabat_draft_outcome.pdf
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