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Upendra Bharti | HENB | New Delhi | Jan 23, 2022:: Two Hindu organizations namely Hindu Front for Justice and Hindu Sena have approached the Supreme Court demanding equal protection for Hindus against hate speeches made by Muslim leaders in the past.
In an application seeking intervention in a petition where the court has sought response from Uttarakhand, the central government and Delhi police against hate speeches by Hindu religious leaders at a religious gathering in Haridwar and Delhi, the Hindu Front for Justice produced a list of hate speeches by Muslim leaders and clerics, some of which supposedly 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 therefore, the concept of majority or minority must not be introduced while analysing incidents of hate speech,” said the application filed by advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain.
Seeking judicial review on what constitutes hate speech, the application by the organization and two of its members said, “Hate speech is given by individuals with an intention to cause unrest in society, provoke violence and communal tension. A speech with an intention to protect the members of a particular community with theme of self-defence cannot come within the ambit of hate speech.”
To decide this issue, the applicants sought intervention in the proceedings pending before the top court.
On January 12, a bench headed by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana had issued notice on a petition filed by senior advocate Anjana Prakash and journalist Qurban Ali demanding action against the participants of a religious congregation held in December at Haridwar, where calls were made for violence against Muslims.
The petition also produced contents of another hate speech made at an event in Delhi organized by the Hindu Yuva Vahini and informed the court that similar events were planned in the coming months as well. The matter has not come up for hearing since.
As a counterblast, the application by the Hindu Front for Justice highlighted speeches made by All India Majlis-e-Ittihadul Muslimeen leaders Akbaruddin Owaisi and Waris Pathan, who made speeches in 2013 insulting Hindu gods and goddess, and supposedly said, “We (Muslims) are 25 crore and you (Hindus) are 100 crores. Remove the police for 15 minutes and see the result.”
The application produced video links and news clippings showing instances of hate speech by Muslim clerics. An Islamic cleric from West Bengal was shown in videos threatening to kill lakhs if Rohingyas were deported. No action has been taken against such provocative hate speech, the applicants said.
“The provocative speeches delivered by Muslim leaders have created an atmosphere of fear and unrest in Hindu community. Such statements remind us the working of Muslim League, which resulted in the partition of the country,” the plea stated.
The application sought the court’s intervention to prevent Muslim leaders from spreading hatred and violence against Hindus.
“In view of the historical facts prevailing in the world and particularly for last more than 1,200 years in India, after independence, the Hindus are bound to take an exception of the hate speeches given by some members of Muslim community and they are fearful that a section of society is working for “Gajwa-e-Hind,” which means to Islamize the entire country,” it said.
In another set of intervention application, Vishnu Gupta, National President of Hindu Sena, through his lawyer Barun Kumar Sinha, has sought directions to the State governments to register FIRs against AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi and others including Tauqeer Raza, Sajid Rashidi, Amanatullah Khan, Waris Pathan for allegedly making hate speeches against Hindu community and its God and Godesses.
“The applicants herein through the present application are praying to this court to direct an SIT to investigate the hate speeches given against the members of the Hindu community, their gods and goddesses,” Mr. Gupta said in the plea.
Referring to Article 25 (freedom of religion to all persons in India) of the Constitution, it said, “It is crystal clear that every citizen of this country has freedom of conscience, practice and propagation of religion. Therefore, the Holding Dharma Sansad by Hindu is protected by Article 19(a)(b) and Article 25 of the Constitution.” It referred to the religion of one of petitioners of the main PIL, Qurban Ali, and said he “belongs to Muslim Community” and the follower of Islam is not “supposed to raise objection against the affairs or activities related to Hindu Dharm Sansad. In fact by way of aforesaid petition, an effort is being made to scandalize the spiritual leaders of Hindus”.
Organizing ‘Dharm Sansad’ by Hindu spiritual leaders cannot be treated as against any other religion, it said.