torsdag 14. april 2022

Why people get away with hate speech in India

Is it really easy to get away with hate speech in India? A spate of recent incidents in the days leading up to the Hindu festival of Ram Navami on 10 April would suggest so. The festival was marked by incidents of hate speech and even violence in some states. In the southern state of Hyderabad, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lawmaker - who was banned by Facebook in 2020 for hate speech - sang a song with lyrics that said anyone who didn't chant Hindu deity Ram's name would be forced to leave India soon.

Days before that, a viral video showed a Hindu priest allegedly threatening to kidnap and rape Muslim women in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. Police registered a case only after a week when the video of the speech generated outrage - and he was arrested on Wednesday. Around the same time, Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati - another Hindu priest who is out on bail in a hate speech case - made another speech in the national capital, Delhi, asking Hindus to take up arms to fight for their existence.