“Where have we reached in the name of religion, what have we reduced religion to is tragic”
Supreme Court of India, 2022-2023
A new normal prevails in #NewIndia, where elected Members of Legislative Assemblies, belonging to the party that controls the union government, are openly supported extra-judicial killings, now even threatening of persons who speak against majoritarianism.
Last week, Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, a MLA belonging to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in the Bijapur constituency of Karnataka recently said that “If you speak about our faith or about India, then you will be shot. ” this open threat was issued by the said MLA as he was speaking about the murder of Atique Ahmed in Uttar Pradesh, saying that this same method will be used in Karnataka too, where decision will be taken on the road. His state goes to the polls on May 10.
The video can be viewed here:
Hate speech has been a dark spot on Indian democracy for decades, but the scale of the problem has accelerated sharply in recent years, with the Indian polity being regularly bombarded with hateful speech and polarising content. This development has gone hand in hand with the rise and consolidation of the current regime at the centre since 2014 with even cabinet ministers and officials committing offences of hate bartering, with impunity.
Even as these serious issues were agitated before the Supreme Court (SC) by citizens and activists leading to a string of strictures and guidelines (the latest) being issued by the Supreme Court to curb hate speeches made by political and religious leaders, the events and speeches by far right outfits thriving on current political patronage have redoubled, being consistently reported from various parts of India. Notably, most of this hate content (even those reported below) contains open calls to violence and are shocking in the violent and extreme language they use, transgressing the lawful line and distinction of mere utterances to actually advocate calls for ethnic cleansing. The vitriolic tone used in these particular instances of speech is the most relevant, as it aims to not only stigmatise or isolate the minorities (especially the largest majority in India, Muslims) but are so extreme that they amount to exhortations to physical harm and violence.
In the month of April 2023 too, Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) has collated a list of such events where hate speeches had been given. In the list provided below, a few names of repeat offenders are observed, while some new emergent trainee names to the hate bandwagon are also seen. The hate factory is clearly constantly grooming newer and newer entrants into their cynical fold.
The analysis below looks at the offences and offenders, classified by region state/district.
1. Location: Ghagwal, Samba, Jammu (May 2, 2023)
Far-right group Antarashtriya Hindu Parishad (AHP) –of which “veteran” Dr Praveen Togadia is a prominent voice– organised a hate event demonizing Muslims. The leader could be heard urging his Hindu audience to “raise arms against Muslims, and lead a battle against them”, as Hindu lords have in the past against “demons.”
“Can our DNA and the DNA of the Muslims be one? No. So all these people who are saying that we have the same DNA, should we make them understand this or not? Who will tell these people? (The crowd shouts- we will). Then you need to get ready and raise your swords. The time is here, the battle will take place now. These battles are not new, they happened before too don’t your remember? Those who are Veer will not be killed.”
“Those who do not consider Mother India as their mother, can that person be considered out brother? (The crowd shouts- no) Those who do not consider cows as their mother, can that person be considered out brother? (The crowd shouts- no) Then who gave birth to this slogan that Hindu Muslim Sikhs and Christians are brothers?”
“These people are making a fooling of us while calling us brothers. They are literally cutting us up and eating us, and you people are considering them brothers. Till when are you going to let this happen? We used to rule this world, we used to be referred to as Chhakravarti Samrat. No one was greater than us. But look at us now, we have to struggle in even Ghagwal, we have to struggle to even protect our own mother cows now.”
“On one side there is God, on the other side there are demons. Even in Satyug, there used to be God and Goddesses, Lord Shiva used to be there, but on the other hand there were demons, such as Bhasmasura. Even demons used to worships gods and get gifts. These people also read Namaz and remember their Gods. They read Namaz every day 5 times, get together every Friday while we people only go to temples sometimes.”
“Now, all Gods are one. Just like demons, these people also keep worshipping Gods and get their rewards. You know, after rewarding Bhasmasura, our Lord Shiv had to hide. After he hid, he had to then battle against the demon, and even Lord Vishnu had to come, disillusion the demon, and then kill him.”
“There are more such examples- take one of Gokul where on one side there was Lord Krishna, and on the other side, there was Kanasa. Was there a battle then or no? There were Pandavas on one side and Kauravs on the other. These battles are not new, many died too. Another battle example is the battle between Ram and Raavan. Raavan was so learned too, but he was defeated by Lord Ram.”
“In all these battles the Lords and Gods had to struggle too, they were not sleeping, unlike us. I keep on thinking how fortunate we were that we got to sleep. We stay at our homes, with our children and wives. But the Gods did not get to sleep and rest like us, and that is why they are Gods. That is why we worship them and clap for them. Gods lead disciplined lives.”
“Since Satyug, in every era there have been struggles, then why do you think there will not be some struggle in Kalyug. In Kaluyug, there needs to be a bigger struggle because in every house there is a Raanvan, even inside us there is a Raavan. That is why I am saying that “Sangharsh hi jeevanhai(Struggle is life)”
“What is the use of living like a corpse? All the people present here are actually alive, they have the enthusiasm to make change and to actually do something for their country, their religion and their society, and for the protection of their cultures and traditions. Only Gods can think like this.”
“This sentiment of the serving the nation, present inside all of you, is motivating all of us to do something of the kind that leaves a mark, so that when we depart the world, the people left behind remember us. They should remember that there were these people on Earth who did something for their country. For this, you should all remember this- Struggle is life.”
The video can be viewed here:
This story was originally published in cjp.org.in. Read the full story here