A Hindu organization has approached the Supreme Court to demand equal protection for Hindus against hate speech by Muslim leaders in the past.
In a request to intervene in a petition where the court requested a response from Uttarakhand, Central Government and Delhi Police against hate speech by Hindu religious leaders at a religious gathering in Haridwar and Delhi, the Hindu Justice Front produced a list of hate speech by Muslim leaders and clerics, some of whom allegedly called for genocide against Hindus, against which no action was taken.
“Every citizen of India is equally entitled to equal protection of the laws and hence the concept of majority or minority should not be introduced when analyzing incidents of hate speech,” said the application filed by the lawyer Vishnu Shankar Jain.
Asking for a judicial review of what constitutes hate speech, the request from the organization and two of its members said: “Hate speech is spoken by individuals with the intention of causing disorder in society, cause violence and community tensions. Speech with the intent to protect members of a particular community on the subject of self-defense cannot qualify as hate speech.
To decide this question, the applicants requested intervention in the proceedings pending before the Supreme Court.
On January 12, a bench headed by Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana issued an opinion on a petition filed by lead lawyer Anjana Prakash and journalist Qurban Ali demanding action against participants of a religious congregation held in December in Haridwar, where calls were made for violence against Muslims.
The petition also produced the content of another hate speech delivered at an event in Delhi hosted by Hindu Yuva Vahini and informed the court that similar events were also planned in the coming months. The case has not been brought to trial since.
As a counterattack, the Hindu Justice Front’s demand highlighted speeches by All India Muslim leaders Majlis-e-Ittihadul Akbaruddin Owaisi and Waris Pathan, who gave speeches in 2013 insulting the gods and the Hindu Goddess and said, “We (Muslims) are 25 crores and you (Hindus) are 100 crores. Remove the font for 15 minutes and see the result.
The app produced video links and press clippings showing instances of hate speech by Muslim clerics. An Islamic cleric from West Bengal has been shown in videos threatening to kill thousands of people if the Rohingyas are expelled. No action was taken against such provocative hate speech, the petitioners said.
“The provocative speeches delivered by Muslim leaders have created an atmosphere of fear and unrest in the Hindu community. Such statements remind us of the workings of the Muslim League, which resulted in the partition of the country,” the plea reads.
The request sought court intervention to prevent Muslim leaders from spreading hatred and violence against Hindus.
“Given the historical facts prevailing in the world and especially for more than 1,200 years in India, after independence, Hindus are bound to make an exception to hate speech by some members of the Muslim community and they fear that a part of the society is working for ‘Gajwa-e-Hind’ which means Islamizing the whole country,” he said.