A Republic of Hate

Hate spreads at a much faster speed as compared to love. This year has just started, and the last one which ended just a few days back can easily be regarded as a year when hate was sold as a different and attractive package by the media and other agencies of the state and the non state actors, alike. In the world’s biggest democracy, a hate monger was honoured (by the state too) after his death with a 21 gun salute. All his sins were forgotten as he was being praised by the so called keepers of the conscience. For them, a saintly figure passed away.

Another hate monger got elected as the Chief Minister in the state of the Mahatma for the third consecutive time with a thumping victory. His crime is an open secret to everyone, yet he is being poised for the post of India’s Premier in Twenty Fourteen.

With the start of 2013, we got an Akbaruddin Owaisi, who in a rabble-rousing manner threatened the Hindus openly with dire consequences, in a condemnable and a shameful speech full of hate, but how come he was arrested for his ‘ hate speech’, while the above mentioned hate mongers have been honored year after year for the same crime.

Politics of hate is a common feature of the Indian democratic structure. Ever since partition, the leaders of different political groups have been constantly playing the communal cards on and off for you-know-why. The decade of 1990s was an era when the politics based on communal hatred reached its zenith, many were killed for “Mandirs” and “Masjids”. People who were involved in mobilizing the masses to rape, kill and molest are still roaming free, not only free, but many of them have gained more and more power in the country and have ruled for years without being made accountable for their crimes. Who can forget Gujarat, 2002?

“People like Owaisi, Thackerey, Advani, Modi and all of their likes are there to be condemned not to be honoured by the state. Owaisi is there to be condemned and he must be condemned, but how can we ignore the treatment meted out by the state to other hate mongers.”

Just like love, hate is something which cannot be confined to just a single class or religion or nationality. Hate mongers can be found everywhere just like love. Just like love, hate should not be dealt with, having double standards in mind. Hate mongers should be dealt with equally.

People like Owaisi, Thackerey, Advani, Modi and all of their likes are there to be condemned not to be honoured by the state. Owaisi is there to be condemned and he must be condemned, but how can we ignore the treatment meted out by the state to other hate mongers. Can India ignore the hate filled speeches of Advani and his gang during the 90s, can we forget the rants of the Maratha Patriarch, Bal Thackerey against the South Indians, Muslims, Biharis and UP wala Bhaiyyas , can we forget the words of Ashok Singhals and Praveen Togadias?

It’s the duty of the state to tighten the noose around such hate mongers. There must be freedom of speech and freedom to express one’s views, but that doesn’t mean one should have the freedom to spread hate among the brotherly communities. There must be zero tolerance towards the hate mongers. They need to be boycotted socially no matter to whichever religion they adhere to.

After spreading hate for years, Bal Thackerey was banned from voting for six years, but that cannot be seen as a punishment. Even after that, he was allowed to carry on by spitting ‘ Anti- Muslim’ and ‘ Anti- Bihari’ venoms without being arrested a single time. It’s a shame for the Indian democracy that a hate monger was given state funeral while ultra nationalist television anchors kept on proving him as the biggest nationalist by comparing with Jay Prakash Narayan. A Single vote means nothing and stripping a hate monger, who has a blood of thousand innocents on his shirt, off his voting rights should not be regarded as a punishment. Hate mongers like Modis, Adityanaths, Singhals and Thackereys should be given equal punishments without any double standards. And if only Owaisi is being singled out, then it shows double standard on the part of the state, or it shows the incapability and cowardice of the ones who are sitting at the top. If it’s not doing that, then it shows the hypocrisy of the state and the ones who are ruling over it. How come the Thackereys have been allowed to go away after making communal, regional and racist remarks each and every time?

It’s the responsibility of the government to bring such hate mongers to book, rather than giving them state funerals. A few days back, I was listening to a speech of Ashok Singhal in which he was saying that “Ram Mandir wahin pe banega chahe laakhon karoron logon ka khoon kyun nahin bahe” (A temple will be built at the same sight in Ayodhya where the Babri Masjid stood, doesn’t matter if we have to shed the blood of crores for that). It’s an irony that such statements are totally forgotten by the nationalist media outlets and unfortunately there is no denying the fact that the ‘ secular’ masked Congress has been playing ‘ soft communal’ politics on and off for its own electoral gain. One should not have even an iota of sympathy for Owaisi and others like him, but at the same time, it cannot be denied that he was arrested for the same crime after committing which Raj Thackerey roams freely while thumping his chest and abusing Muslims and Biharis by calling them ( Biharis) rapists. The question is, if a Congress government can arrest an Owaisi in Andhra Pradesh for delivering ‘hate speech’ then why it becomes mum in front of Raj Thackerey in Bombay?

Syed used to work with the Hindustan Times, Delhi till 2010 December and then he took a sabbatical for academic purposes which continues till date. Currently pursuing his masters in Peace and conflict studies with Nelson Mandela Centre for Peace and Conflict, Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi, Syed has studied journalism from Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), New Delhi.

Be first to comment