Indian political leaders choose to be silent after the recent hate speech made in country

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Haridwar, an ancient city known as Hindu pilgrimage site, where a religious assembly took place from December 17 to 19 in last year, is now brought to the threshold of the Supreme Court. The gathering named as ‘Dharam Sansad’ was attended by hundreds of people encouraged hate speech against particular community. According to the information, Kapil Sibal a senior advocate told court, ‘Slogans of the country have changed from Satyamev Jayate to Sashastramev Jayate. FIRs have been filed but no arrests have been made yet’.

The petition filed by journalist Kurban Ali and former High Court Justice Anjana Prakash indicated hate speeches against Muslim community and ask for a fair investigation in the case. Supreme Court issued notice to State administration and come up with a clear response in the matter where genocide was incited publicly in speeches. Along with State administration, it is issued to Delhi Police and Centre. The public addressal talked about the use of weapons against Muslims that enraged concerned people. Keeping in mind the outcome, Supreme Court has allowed petitioners to speak to local authorities to stop another Dharam Sansad that is planned to be held on 23 January in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh.    

Communal hate is a sensitive issue, India has witnessed deeply since the partition (1947). Diversity of culture, religion, language is what India is talked about commonly, across the world. But we can’t deny, the same reason has been behind the conflicts in the country. Some of the Indian leaders have openly raised such conflicts on political platforms without thinking much of communal hate that could be triggered in result. A controversial video clip from Dharam Sansad of Prabodhanand Giri was heard saying, ‘Like Myanmar, our politicians, army, police and every Hindu must pick up weapons to organize Safayi Abhiyaan (cleanliness drive)’.

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Political expert Dinesh Chandra calls it a clear motive to drive attention towards such religious gatherings. He said, ‘Such people come with a different motive. They don’t come for embracing aur celebrating the religion but to drive attention towards them through meaningless statements.’ In addition to his comment, he also mentioned that specific incidents damage India’s image globally. But politically, it hardly affects. ‘Yes, definitely it damages India’s image globally, but politically it does not affect any political party until someone represents it.’ Although, Dinesh Chandra made his point but isn’t our political leaders responsible to question such gatherings and should ill-consider them?

The silence of political leaders on hate speech is indirectly encouraging people who disseminates propaganda to, go on. BMMA (Bhartiya Muslim Mahila Andolan) in a statement said, ‘Prime Minister must urgently assuredly condemn the hate speeches made at the religious gathering in Haridwar and reassure all the Indians would be protected from any threats of terror. Home Ministry should be directed by Prime Minister immediately to take strict actions against culprits and put them behinds bars’. It added that the Prime Minister should proceed in this with a clear message, that India is a lawful democracy. According to Dinesh Chandra, political leaders try to escape from such topics to not get into any kind of trouble. He said, ‘Most of the times, politicians do not pass any comments on these topics because they have been ordered from higher authorities. Sensitive issues can result into conflicts and parties doesn’t want their hands to get into it.’

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How important it is for leaders to speak and provide a certain assurance to people in such terror situations, to which Dinesh Chandra answered, ‘Yes, people need words of protection during situations like this. Leaders should come front and speak on it, and should provide assurance of justice as citizens are the one who help them to sit in that position.’ But he also shared a general mindset leaders carry. ‘Firstly, it is not like they don’t have an opinion or a say. But they choose to keep quiet on specific situations because of any possible disturbance that could be resulted in, especially the administration in power. Secondly, leaders never speak their mind out until elections. They see the wind, and change to that side’, he said. The wrong and right gets decide amid elections, otherwise they don’t consider any situation concerning.

Maintaining peace is also a responsibility leaders have. But how often they try to remain silence during peace threatening situations at this level has worried people. Arjun, a student told Eat News, ‘They are conducting gatherings on the name of religious purpose but are passing a violent and hatred message to the people openly, with some many attendees is a crime in my opinion. Inciting the crowd against a community is threatening and what more disappointing is that no political leader bothered to come and speak on this, instead they are busy in their campaigns for upcoming elections. Even the police do not take any action until it becomes news, or Supreme court issues the notice. Sad.’

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As per official census 2011, majority population in Haridwar is Hindu with 82.66 per cent, Muslima are 15.70 per cent, Christian is 0.25 per cent whereas Sikh, Buddhist, Jain and others are lesser than them.

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Shefali Ranawat is an Eat News correspondent in India. She want to be the voice of people. Also, she aim to be a war correspondent.

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