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Hate Speech

  • IASbaba
  • July 8, 2022
  • 0
Social Issues
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Context: The recent incidents of communal violence has brought the focus on the Hate Speech

Recent occurrences

  • The incident in Amravati, Maharashtra, where a chemist, Umesh Kolhe, was knifed to death allegedly by three men in retaliation for his sharing a post in support of former ruling party spokesperson on the Prophet was on the same lines as the dastardly murder of a tailor, Kanhaiya Lal, in Udaipur a week ago.
  • In both cases, suspects who were incensed by the remarks took to violence as a counter to what they perceived as an insult to their religion.

Major Reasons of Hate Speech:

Feeling of Superiority:

  • Individuals believe in stereotypes that are ingrained in their minds and these stereotypes lead them to believe that a class or group of persons are inferior to them and as such cannot have the same rights as them.

Stubbornness to Particular Ideology:

  • The stubbornness to stick to a particular ideology without caring for the right to co-exist peacefully adds further fuel to the fire of hate speech.

Legal Position of Hate Speech:

Under Indian Penal Code:

  • Sections 153A and 153B of the IPC: Punishes acts that cause enmity and hatred between two groups.
  • Section 295A of the IPC: Deals with punishing acts which deliberately or with malicious intention outrage the religious feelings of a class of persons.
  • Sections 505(1) and 505(2): Make the publication and circulation of content which may cause ill-will or hatred between different groups an offence.

Under Representation of People’s Act:

  • Section 8 of the Representation of People’s Act, 1951 (RPA): Prevents a person convicted of the illegal use of the freedom of speech from contesting an election.
  • Sections 123(3A) and 125 of the RPA: Bars the promotion of animosity on the grounds of race, religion, community, caste, or language in reference to elections and include it under corrupt electoral practices.

Recommendations for changes in IPC

Bezbaruah Committee 2014:

  • It proposed amendment to Section 153 C of IPC punishable by five years and fine or both and Section 509A IPC punishable by three years or fine or both.

Viswanathan Committee 2019:

  • It proposed inserting Sections 153 C (b) and Section 505 A in the IPC for incitement to commit an offence on grounds of religion, race, caste or community, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, place of birth, residence, language, disability or tribe.
  • It proposed punishment of up to two years along with Rs. 5,000 fine.

Way forward

  • The most efficient way to dilute hatred is by means of Education.
  • So our education system should play major role in promoting and understanding compassion with others.
  • People should have a vision to unite all sections of society socially and culturally, and take the country forward.
  • For India, the whole world is one family as encapsulated in its timeless ideal, ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’. It is with this spirit that we should move forward together.
  • The government should also bring comprehensive amendments to criminal laws to prevent hate speech and expression.

Source: The Hindu

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