Hate speech is an incitement to hatred against a particular group of persons marginalized by their religious belief, sexual orientation, gender etc. The Law Commission, in its 267th report on hate speech, said such utterances have the potential to provoke individuals and society to commit acts of terrorism, genocide, and ethnic cleansing.
BODY PARAGRAPH 1 – SOCIAL CONSEQUENCES:
1.The relation between speech and violence is of critical importance. It can provoke emotions resulting in communal violence and riots.
2.Hate speech can be used as a tool to marginalize the vulnerable section of society as it promotes discriminatory practices, ghettoization.
3.Hate speech causes fear and leads people to withdraw from public debate and thus impacts freedom of speech and expression. Violence, discrimination, curbing of individual freedom is the violation of right of other people to live with dignity.
4.Hate speech can promote majoritarianism by demeaning other religious beliefs and practices.
5.Hate speech leads to hate crimes as seen during exodus of North Eastern students from Bangalore (2013).
BODY PARAGRAPH 2- MEASURES:
1.Effective laws covering wide ambit of hate speech with effective implementation of laws. Implementation of TK Vishwanathan Committee report which proposed inserting Sections 153 C (b) and Section 505 A in the IPC for incitement to commit an offence on grounds of religion, race, caste or community, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, place of birth, residence, language, disability or tribe.
2.Awareness amongst people about the contents and consequences of hate speech.
3.Role of media- ensuring accountability of those violating constitutional morality. Imposing hefty fines, like in Germany the Social media companies face fines of up to €50m if they persistently fail to remove illegal content from their sites.
4.Socialization- religious pluralism, diversity, secularism
5.Tackling fake news covering hate speech The government should bring out a policy framework on the possible harm due to the internet messaging platforms to engage at a deeper level.
Hate speech erodes the idea of secular, plural, diverse India. This issue should be strictly and earnestly addressed with tougher laws and their stricter implementation. As a people who have been existing on the basis of unity in diversity ,societal sensitization is necessary. There is also a need for involvement of religious heads to build empathy across religious lines.