Curb Hate Speech Campaign of Sangh Outfits in States

On August 2nd, the Supreme Court  directed states and police authorities to “ensure there’s no hate speech” and to take strict actions and preventive measures to curb hate speech incidents. Later on August 11th, the Apex Court asked the Centre to constitute a committee to look into the cases of hate speech.

Despite the Supreme Court directions, there has been a steep rise in the incidents of organised hate speeches which called for boycott and violence against Muslims in various states. The state governments and the police have remained a mute spectator which is a blatant violation of the directions of the Apex Court.

On August 13th, in Haryana’s Palwal, a mahapanchayat was organised by the Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) where hate speeches and call to arms were made. On August 2nd, in Hansi city of Hisar district, a speaker from the Bajrang Dal issued an ultimatum to local businesses to remove their Muslim employees from their jobs or face a boycott.

Post the Nuh violence in Haryana, there have been a large-scale mobilization across various cities in Northern India, where calls for violence and boycott have been issued against Muslims.

In a letter to the Uttarakhand Governor and the Director General of Police, Indresh Maikhuri, State Secretary of CPIML, flagged the issue of increase in hate speeches in Uttarakhand and called for immediate action to prevent it.

“In various parts of Uttarakhand, there have been several attempts by some groups to stoke communal violence and frenzy. It is a matter of great concern that so far, no concrete action has been taken in these cases. Despite the Supreme Court’s order, the silence of the state and administration against hate speech cases is highly condemnable. This inaction by the state is only helping the divisive forces in the society to spread its hate campaign in all the big and small towns of Uttarakhand,” wrote Indresh in a letter dated August 18th.

In Uttarakhand’s Dehradun, on August 2nd, a rally by Hindutva far-right groups virulently targeted the Muslim community. This vulgar display of hate in Dehradun happened in the full presence of the police. In Roorkee, VHP members organised a rally raising derogatory slogans. Similar cases were witnessed in Uttarakhand’s Bhikiyasain and Someshwar in early August 2023.

The Supreme Court and the various High Courts have issued a slew of directions to the police to strictly deal with cases of hate speech. “The police must take immediate action against every small or big attempt to spread communal frenzy, and hatred should be dealt with strictly. No one should be allowed to spread hysteria, hatred and violence,” added Indresh.

On August 4, CPIML Delhi State Secretary Ravi Ravi along with state secretaries of other Left parties met the Police Commissioner of Delhi and expressed serious concern about the attempts by VHP and Bajrang Dal to stroke communal tension by spreading anti-Muslim hatred propaganda in different areas of Delhi.  The delegation called for immediate action by the police against such attempts.

In Jharkhand, several civil society groups along with Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha wrote a letter to the state DGP on August 14th, raising concerns about incidents of hate speech in the state. The letter also called for attention towards the hate videos on social media that aims to vitiate the communal harmony in the state. “In recent weeks, the leaders and members of BJP and its Sangh groups (like Bajrang Dal, VHP) have been organizing meeting and rallies in Ranchi and other districts delivering hate speech against Muslims and Christians,” noted that letter calling upon the police to initiate suo moto action against any case of hate speech.

It is pertinent to note that, the social media platforms are increasingly becoming the hot spot of hate speech and calls for violence. Everyday new videos are emerging where individuals associated with the Hindutva right-wing groups are blatantly calling for violence against Muslims. The Modi government has been pro-active in curbing social media posts that express dissent and those that are critical of the government policies. But, hundreds of virulent videos that get posted everyday spreading hate against Muslims, Christians, Dalits and Adivasis face zero action.

Despite several directions and orders by the Supreme Court and various High Courts, the recent rise in cases of hate speech and calls for violence clearly point towards the complicity of the Modi government and BJP governments in Haryana, Uttarakhand, MP and UP to vitiate the secular fabric of the country.

Nuh violence