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Hate speeches beginning point of attacks against targeted community: Delhi HC

The judge asserted that hate speeches are targeted at a community to create a psychological impact on their psyche.

The judge asserted that hate speeches are targeted at a community to create a psychological impact on their psyche.

Hate speeches are the beginning point of attacks against a targeted community and there have even been instances of demographic shifts in the aftermath of inflammatory speeches — the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Kashmir valley being a prime example, the Delhi High Court on Monday said.

Justice Chandra Dhari Singh said that the methodology of hate speeches is not restricted to any religion or community and there are instances of hate speeches in different parts of the country targeted against people of specific communities based upon demography.

The judge asserted that hate speeches are targeted at a community to create a psychological impact on their psyche and the attacks can range from discrimination to ostracism, ghettoization, deportation, and even genocide.

“Hate speeches are almost invariably targeted towards a community to impart a psychological impact on their psyche, creating fear in the process. Hate speeches are the beginning point of attacks against the targeted community that can range from discrimination to ostracism, ghettoization, deportation, and, even genocide. The methodology is not restricted to any religion or community in specific,” the court said.

“There have been and there continue to be instances of hate speeches in different parts of the country targeted against people of specific communities, based upon the demographic composition. There have even been instances of demographic shifts in the aftermath of such Hate/Inflammatory speeches, the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Kashmir valley is a prime example,” the court stated.

The court’s observations were made while dismissing a petition by CPI(M) leaders Brinda Karat and KM Tiwari challenging the trial court’s refusal to direct the registration of an FIR against Union Minister Anurag Thakur and his BJP colleague and MP Pravesh Verma for their alleged hate speeches concerning anti-CAA protest at Shaheen Bagh here.

The court emphasised in its order that hate speeches incite violence and feelings of resentment against members of specific communities and marginalise such individuals by using expressions that expose their group to hatred.

It asserted that the freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution comes with reasonable restrictions which include public order, decency or morality or concerning contempt of court, defamation, or incitement to an offence which includes hate speech.

Article 15 of the Constitution also prohibits discrimination against any citizen on grounds of only religion, race, caste or sex, etc, it added. It noted that several international accords, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights, also condemn discrimination and hate speech. 

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