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news details
Hate speeches by politicians shoot up
By 500% Under Modi government
11/28/2018 9:24:25 PM
Mahadeep singh Jamwal

A study by NDTV, the use of hateful and divisive language by high-ranking politicians has increased almost 500% in the past four years; an NDTV data collection exercise (reported in April 2018 & available on search engines) has found. Based on what the survey found, from May 2014 to the reporting date April 2018, there have been 124 instances of VIP hate speech by 45 politicians, compared to 21 instances under UPA 2, an increase of 490%. It is the BJP that topped the list of its Lok Sabha MPs as well as among the MLAs for the hate speeches. Reportedly NDTV scanned nearly 1,300 articles and cross-referenced through 1,000 tweets of politicians and public figures. The methodology adopted to define hate speech as statements that are clearly communal, casteiest, or calls to violence. When we speak of hate speeches by the politicians, there seems to be a kind of permissive environment for such people under their political canopy to engage in hate speech and to act out on hate. Generally perceived that attacks because of hate culture on race, religion, caste or ethnicity in India often occur when the attackers believe they have political cover to safeguard them from state retribution. we come across a startling figures put forth by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) a non-partisan, non-governmental organization which works in the area of electoral and political reforms in association with National Election Watch (NEW) a conglomeration of over 1200 organizations across the country. Based on the analysis of self-sworn affidavits of all sitting MPs and MLAs, the analysis revealed that many of current MPs and MLAs, who are designated lawmakers, have declared cases related to hate speech against them. A total of 58 current MPs and MLAs have declared cases related to hate speech. Fifteen sitting Lok Sabha MPs have declared cases related to hate speech against them. While ten sitting Lok Sabha MPs with declared cases related to hate speech are from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and one each is from the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), a political party active in the Indian state of Assam, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) a regional political party based in Telangana, Paattali Makkall Katchi (PMK) is a political party in Tamil Nadu, , All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) a regional political party based in the Indian state of Telangana, and Shiv Sena (SHS). The Party-wise distribution scenario of 43 sitting MLAs who have declared cases of hatred speech goes as: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has 17, the highest number of MLAs followed by five from TRS, five from AIMIM, three are from Telugu Desam Party (TDP), two each from Indian National Congress (INC), All India Trinamool Congress (AITC), Janata Dal (United) (JD-U) and Shiv Sena (SHS), one each from Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Samajwadi Party (SP) and two are independent MLAs. As per a study done by NDTV, the use of hateful and divisive language by high-ranking politicians has increased by almost 500% under the Modi government. Communal violence spiked in 2017, rising by 17 percent, with the number of incidents increasing to 822 instances, from 2016's 703 incidents. In 2017, over 111 persons were killed and at least 2,384 persons were injured in violence stemming out of communal clashes and somewhere hate speeches were also one of the reasons for it. The year 2016 has witnessed killing of 86 persons and injuring of 2,321 persons in similar instances. The year 2017 recorded the highest death toll (11 deaths) and the most number of incidents of hate violence (37 incidents) and these are related to cows and religion.
On states calendar on hate crime, Uttar Pradesh recorded the highest number of communal riots in 2017. The state saw 195 incidents that resulted in the death of 44 persons and injured 452 persons. The 195 deaths in the state account for around 40 percent of the countrywide deaths from communal violence. In the row for 2017, Karnataka recorded the second-highest number, with 100 communal riots, where 9 persons died and 229 were injured. The Rajsthan occupied the third position by witnessing 91 incidents resulting in 12 deaths. Over 170 persons were injured in communal clashes in the state. Rajasthan is followed by Bihar with 85 incidents, where 3 persons were killed and 321 were injured. Delhi witnessed a dip in the incidence of communal violence, with 3 instances in 2017 killing of one person and injuring seven as compared to the year 2016 that witnessed over 29 persons were injured. The numbers were made available by Minister of State for Home Affairs in response to a question in the Lok Sabha.
There is a fine line between free speech and hate speech. Free speech encourages debate whereas hate speech incites violence. It bears greater similarity to a psychological disorder than to standard political discourse. In liberal society we claim that freedom of speech is sacred and therefore has an absolute character. But we know that "free speech" inhabits a structured space: not only is "hate speech" legally forbidden in liberal societies, but there are also laws for such speakers. When we look for the definition of hate speech, we come across that hate speech is speech that attacks a person or group on the basis of attributes such as race, religion, ethnic origin, national origin, gender, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity. It also speaks of gesture or conduct that incites violence. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) states that "any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law". The Constitution of India and its hate speech laws aim to prevent discord among communities. Freedom of speech and expression is protected by article 19 (1) of the constitution of India, but under article 19(2) "reasonable restrictions" can be imposed on freedom of speech and expression in the interest of "the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, Some of the relevant sections of the Indian penal code that penalize the offender for hate speech are Section 124A, 153A, 153B, 292, section 293 and 295(A).
We come across public interest litigation (PIL) filed by the voluntary organization 'Pravasi Bhalai Sangathan' urging for the rule of law be strengthened and such leaders not be permitted to repeatedly make hate speeches. In the year 2013 Supreme Court has sought seeking framing of guidelines to curb elected representatives from delivering hate speeches in pursuance of their political goals. Simultaneously we have second view of the Supreme Court while dismissing a PIL by Advocate M L Sharma in 2014, seeking directions for the Election Commission to curb hate speeches. The Apex court said that it could not curb the fundamental right of the people to express them. "We cannot curtail fundamental rights of people. It is precious rights guaranteed by Constitution, we are a mature democracy and it is for the public to decide. We are 1280 million people and there would be 1280 million views. One is free not accepting the view of others". Also the court said that it is a matter of perception, and a statement objectionable to a person might not be normal to other person. Fewer than two observations of the Apex Courts by separate benches ultimately direct us to Indian Constitution that speaks, under article 19(2) "reasonable restrictions" can be imposed on freedom of speech and expression in the interest of "the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State" and here it becomes imperative for the Government of India to adhere to the first observation of the Supreme Court to curb elected representatives from delivering hate speeches in pursuance of their political goals by framing strict laws and some guide lines, the prerogative of elected parliament only. The second observation has placed reliance of hate speeches on individuals taking the things as they feel but our society is not mature enough to think wisely as our Honorable judges feels so.
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