New Delhi: “The lack of action against hate speech against minorities including Muslims is condemnable. The nation is trapped in a vicious cycle of hatred. The only solution is to remove religion from politics,” the Supreme Court said.
In the Supreme Court yesterday, a bench comprising Justices KM Joseph and PV Nagaratna heard a case against the Maharashtra government regarding hate speech earlier. The court then raised questions about the hate campaigns taking place in the state. Responding to that, Central Government Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said, “This court should also consider some incidents in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. In Tamil Nadu, a DMK spokesperson says, ‘Equality will flourish only when all Brahmins are destroyed’. No case has been registered against him. Even the party has not taken any action against him. . He is still the spokesperson of the party. Similarly, a child in Kerala was made to say ‘Hindus and Christians should prepare for their funerals’ and it was recorded and circulated on video. The speech of the child makes us feel embarrassed,” he said.
To which Justice Joseph said, “We know that too.” The Solicitor General then questioned, “Then why did this court not itself inquire into it?”
Responding to that, Justice KM Joseph said, “This nation is surrounded by an evil cycle of hatred. The only solution is to remove religion from politics. The moment religion is removed from politics, all these hate speech will stop.”
But Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, no. He said that there is no connection between politics and hate speech. The judge is not letting go. “Of course there is a link between hate speech and religion and politics. Politicians use religion,” said Justice Joseph.
Justice PV Nagaratnam said, “Hate speeches have created cracks in the reputation of brotherhood. These hate speeches are created by some religious organizations.
When Vaiphai and Nehru spoke, the villagers would listen to it. But these days all the small organizations without any wisdom are unleashing hate speech. Where are they dragging India? What is this court going to do if it takes contempt action against every person for hate speech? Are there any restrictions on freedom of speech? Without discipline, this nation cannot be led to the rank of world’s No. 1 nation. Intolerance, lack of knowledge, lack of education leads to unconsciousness. We should focus primarily on eliminating this. Society as a whole must take a pledge to ignore such hate speech,” he said.
Then Justice Joseph said, “We must respect the law before becoming a superpower. Hate speech is an attack on dignity. It is only when there is a continuous attack on dignity, ‘Go to Pakistan’ Hate speeches like They voluntarily chose this nation. They are your brothers and sisters. Don’t forget that you swore in school that ‘All Indians are my brothers and sisters’. I am 65 years old. I may be primitive. I am going to retire in 4 months. But when we started our nation’s journey 75 years ago, our goal was to be a law-abiding nation. So we should not descend to the low level of hatred.”
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