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Hate Speech


Source: TH


Context: The Supreme Court of India has directed all states to register FIRs (First Information Reports) against hate speech incidents and proceed against the offenders without waiting for someone to lodge a complaint.


About Hate Speech:

Topic Information
Definition An incitement to hatred primarily against a group of persons defined in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, etc.
Forms Any form of expression including words, images, cartoons, objects, gestures, and symbols, can be disseminated offline or online.
Current Status in India Hate speech has not been defined in any law in India. However, IPC, 1860 sections like 153A, 153B, 298, etc. deal with speech or words that could create mischief or cause imputations to national integration.
Proposed Legislation The Law Commission of India has proposed two new sections, Section 153C, and Section 505A in IPC to criminalize hate speech specifically.
Rise in Cases According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), there has been a huge increase in cases registered to promote hate speech and foster animosity in society. As there were only 323 cases registered in 2014, it had increased to 1,804 cases in 2020.
Punishment The punishment for hate speech is not defined in Indian law. However, the Supreme Court has stated that hate speech statutes aim to prevent prejudice and ensure equality.
Hate Speech Vs Blasphemy Hate speech laws aim to prevent prejudice and ensure equality, while blasphemy laws prohibit criticism of religion, which is incompatible with the principles of democratic societies. Section 295(A) of the IPC punishes any speech, writings, or signs that insult citizens’ religion or religious beliefs with a fine and imprisonment for up to three years.