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The Uttarakhand Police added the names of two more persons in the First Information Report (FIR) pertaining to hate speeches at a religious event in Haridwar where calls were made for genocide and violence against Muslims.
A case under Section 153A of the IPC (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion), entailing a maximum punishment of five years has been registered.
Meaning of Hate Speech:
=> Hate speech: is defined as "public speech that expresses hate or encourages violence towards a person or group based on something such as race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation".
=> Varies from country to country: A legal definition of hate speech varies from country to country.
Indian Constitution and hate speech:
=> Freedom of Speech and Expression: is protected as a fundamental right in the Constitution of India under Article 19(1) (a) which states that all citizens shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression.
=> Article 19(2): a reasonable restriction has been put forth by the Indian constitution where the word reasonable should strike a balance between the use and misuse of this freedom.
Causes of hate speech in India:
=> Sense of superiority: It is one of the main reasons that gives voice to hate speech when there enters a feeling of superiority of oneself over other than at that point the person starts dominating the other person or groups or communities.
=> Stubborn behaviour towards a particular ideology: When a person or group or community starts showing their stubborn behavior. Do not listen to the other person, opinion, thoughts, or perception then at that particular time it leads to the spread of hate speech in India because people are losing their patience and trying to rule over the other person that causes hatred.
=> Negative stereotypes: The people who are negative stereotypes lead us to think of another individual as inferior and less worthy which creates a sense of hate speech and the reason why negative stereotypes occur is because of the systems of oppression – discriminatory structures, etc.
Legal provisions governing a hate speech:
=> India Penal Code and Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC): Section 153A of the IPC, which criminalizes the promotion of enmity between groups of people on grounds such as religion and race, place of birth, residence language, etc. and acts that are prejudicial to maintaining harmony prescribing the punishment in such cases which may be imprisonment up to five years and fine. Section 295 of the Indian Penal Code 1860, which criminalizes the destruction of places of worship or sacred objects. Section 298 of the IPC, criminalizes speech that would hurt the religious sentiments of a person. Section 505 of the IPC, criminalizes the publication or circulation of certain statements, rumors or reports, intention of such statement or the effect of such a statement is to create mischief and to upset the public tranquility. Section 124A of the IPC talks about sedition and penalizes it stating that if any words written or spoken promote hatred or contempt, disaffection against the government established by law is said to be charged under Section 124A. Sections 95 and 96 of the CrPC authorize the state government to issue a valid order to forfeit any book, newspaper or document.
=> Election laws and hate speech: Section 123 of Representation of People act (RPA), 1951 deals with corrupt electoral parties. An appeal to vote or refrain from voting on the ground of his religion, race, caste, community or language or appeal to religious symbols or nation symbols to impact an election is considered a corrupt electoral practice under Section 123(3). Promotion of hatred on grounds of his religions, race, caste, community, or language or appeal to religious symbols or nation symbols refrains that can possibly impact election under Section 123(3A).
=> Prevention of Atrocities Act and hate speech: Speech directed by any person who himself is not a member of SC or ST community towards the SC or/ and ST community to demean them and hurt them are prevented from occurrence under the Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989.
=> Media law and hate speech: The Cinematograph Act, 1952 governs the exhibition of cinema, framing various laws that provide power to the state to take actions against such an exhibition of cinema. Section 7 of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 is various legislations that empower the Board of Film Certification to prohibit and regulate the screening of the film. Section 4 talks about the examination of the film.
=> Need of regulation: The problem of hate speech has been approached outside of the current legal system.
=> Involvement of the victims and speakers: Direct and constructive involvement of the victims and speakers, whether online or offline, has resulted in results.
=> Alternative forms of settlement: resorting to alternative forms of settlement would provide both parties with a forum for dialogue and eventual resolution outside of the formal rigours of the legal system. The distinguishing feature of these is that the advantage of these methods is that they do not restrict an individual's freedom of speech and expression.
By: ASRAF UDDIN AHMED ProfileResourcesReport error
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