Freedom of Hate Speech: the Only Freedom and Only Speech in Achche Din

Dr S.M. Danish

Gone are the days when The Thackerays were the unparalleled heroes in the world of hate speeches. The game has evolved and the politics of divisiveness is the new “in” thing. India acts as the idyllic breeding ground for such hate mongers due to a variety of religions, castes, languages and cultures. Hence, it presents generous fuel for political parties to broadcast their agendas.

Nowadays our country is feeling this heat of discord more than ever. With parties flying high with their saffron wings, a common man has to be a little cautious with his intellectuality. His unwarranted demand for “freedom of expression” can win him a free holiday in Pakistan, if not hell (as Mr Giriraj from BJP wants). It’s sad that the views of Pakistan were not taken on this, whether they want these unwanted tourists or not.

Terms like “ghar vapasi” and “love jihad” are used with such great vigor, as if it is a lawless land, a temple of anarchy. This politics of hate is approved and nurtured by almost all parties. From Azam Khan and Owaisi brothers admiring Islam in their own fanatic way, to Togadia and Sadhvis calling other religion followers as “bastards”, all practice this instrument to get their vote banks running. Yes, a little bloodshed happens, but come on people, be a sport.

I don’t know if at all anyone wants to know the disparity between “hate speech” and “freedom of expression” these days. Every day, from political leaders (Union minister Ram Shankar Katheria, Kundanika Sharma of BJP, Ashok Lavania of VHP and Shashank Chaudhary of ABVP, BJP’s Vice President and President of the Institute Menezes Braganza, Sanjay Harmalkar)  to celebrities, even spiritual gurus with their specific political affiliations, leave no stone unturned to mock their opponent . A country where people shamelessly use names like Gandhi and Godse in the same breath, where one is called father of the nation and the other (Gandhi’s killer) is considered God father of the extremists, a better patriot than Gandhi himself. Our democracy looks like a stew of every ingredient feasible, a tug of war where people are dying and killing to establish their “newer versions” of patriotism/nationalism/or any ism you can think of. In this circus of loathing and foul criticism, the real critic has died. Having a view is a sin, and is condemned and judged without any delay. Politics is the new religion; where supporting Owaisi makes you a Hindu hater/antinational and supporting BJP makes you a bhakt/a dim-witted blind supporter. Everything from news channels to paper media looks like a riddle. There is no clear line which can acquaint people of their limits and make it loud and clear, that enough is enough.

It’s time to ask ourselves the real question, do we want these prophets of chaos to tell us, how to live our lives? Will we allow them to destroy our beautiful land which has always been an example of love and forgiveness? The answer is within us and we know it. All we need is to take a moment from our busy lives and ask ourselves this simple question…..


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