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Saturday, June 10, 2023

Supreme Court of India addresses ‘hate speech’ case, multiple petitions highlighting targeting of majority community ask to be impleaded

The Supreme Court of India is currently addressing a ‘hate speech’ case based on a petition filed by one Saheen Abdullah. Following this, multiple other impleadments have been filed by various parties, shedding light on the issues faced by Hindus and others.

On one such incident faced by a petitioner, Vikas Pandey approached Supreme Court Lawyer Ashwani Bhardwaj, providing distressing details of targeted hate speech against young students belonging to Brahmin and other Hindu communities. Slogans such as “There will be Blood,” “Brahmo-Baniya, We Are coming for you,” and “Brahmins leave the campus” were found graffitied on the walls of Jawaharlal Nehru University and its hostel.

Advocate Ashwani Bhardwaj has urged the court to expand upon its previous order and establish a comprehensive framework for defining hate speech, protecting society from persecution by authorities, and preventing atrocities against the underprivileged. This case holds immense importance for the Hindu community, as mishandling it could inadvertently lead to entry of Communal Violence Bill via backdoor.

The hate speech case before the Supreme Court has gained widespread attention with the addition of multiple petitions highlighting the targeting of so-called majority communities. Among the affected groups, Brahmins and young students have faced direct threats, persecution, and injustice due to hate speech.

The presence of incendiary slogans on the walls of Jawaharlal Nehru University and its hostel underscores the gravity of the situation. Advocate Ashwani Bhardwaj’s involvement seeks to address these concerns by advocating for a comprehensive framework that distinguishes hate speech from protected free speech. Such a framework is vital to safeguard society from persecution and ensure the prevention of atrocities against both majority and marginalized sections.

Advocate Ashwani Bhardwaj’s plea to the Supreme Court emphasizes the need to define hate speech and establish a robust framework to determine when statements cross the line from protected speech to hate speech. This clarification is crucial in enabling authorities to take appropriate action against offenders and safeguarding society at large.

By defining hate speech, the court can protect deprived sections of society from persecution, ensuring that they do not fall victim to systemic atrocities or various state governments targeting ordinary Hindu activists working on the ground, on false pretenses.

The ongoing hate speech case being heard by the Supreme Court bench of Justices KM Joseph and BV Nagarathna carries significant implications for the Hindu community. Mishandling the case could potentially result in unintended entry of Communal Violence Bill as law. Therefore, it becomes imperative for the court to handle the matter judiciously, striking a balance between free speech and the prevention of hate speech. The court’s ruling will not only shape the boundaries of acceptable speech but also contribute to fostering communal harmony, ensuring justice, and upholding the rights and dignity of all communities.

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