Q. Hate speech in India is a result of various facilitating factors. In this light discuss the impact of hate speech and suggestion to effectively deal with the same.
Structure of the answer:
- Introduction (Meaning)
- Factors supporting hate speeches
- Impact of hate speech
- Way for ward/ suggestion
Hate speech is incitement of hatred primarily against a group of people defined in terms of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation etc. The issue of hate speech has become a recurrent phenomenon especially before the elections.
There are various factors facilitating hate speeches that are as follows:
- Social media platforms are susceptible to misuse due to their reach and anonymity. Thus, it is very difficult to trace who is posting such content.
- Media’s deliberate and unintentional negative portrayals of speeches impact people’s view.
- There is lack of legal clarity as to what constitute hate speech and what does not. This has led to the culprit not being prosecuted.
- Moreover, there is also legal loopholes as hate speech has been indirectly under 6-7 provisions of Indian Penal Code.
Impact of such a hate speech has been seen in following terms:
- Propagation of hate speech by the terror outfit leads to radicalisation of youth and poses a threat to internal security of a nation.
- Hate speech leads to hate crimes as seen during exodus of North Eastern students from Bangalore (2013).
- The hate speech has also led to rise of refugee crisis not only within Indian but also around the world. For ex.- Rohingya crisis in Myanmar.
- Hate speech causes fear and lead people to withdraw from public debate and thus impact freedom of speech and expression.
Thus, to effectively deal with issue of hate speech, there is a need to adopt multiprong approach:
- As recommended by Law Commission of India and TK Vishwanath Committee there is a need for insertion of new Section in IPC in from of Section 153C to effectively deal with hate speech.
- There is also a need for training among police officers and legal bodies for encouraging reporting of such content.
- There is a need for awareness generation and contra-narrative on social media network.
There is also a need for involvement of religious heads to build empathy across religious lines.