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  • Bhavika Bansal

HATE CRIMES IN INDIA

Bhavika Bansal ( B.A.LL.B-3rd Year) , Lovely Professional University


1. Abstract[1]

In the past five years, hate crimes against minority populations have sharply increased in India. Muslims and Dalits made up a sizable portion of the victims of religiously motivated crimes. The answers from the state apparatus are at odds with these constitutional protections since we live in a secular, democratic republic. In addition, officials of the ruling political party and the groups they are linked with have been instrumental in polarising the nation and escalating hatred and bloodshed. Due to the state apparatus's later partial participation in cases involving hate crimes, questions about its justice and reliability have been raised.

2. HATE CRIMES IN INDIA

What is a hate crime?[2]

Hate crime is a criminal act motivated by bias against an individual or social group due to their religious practices and customs. It is an attack on a person's rights, affecting not only them, but the social structure as a whole, making it more heinous than many other Criminal Offences.

Need for hate crime law in India[3]

The brutal murder of tailor Kanhaiya Lal in Udaipur and consequent threats against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which were all caught on camera and broadcast online, should motivate efforts to create legislation that will include hate crimes. Mohammad Riyaz Akhtari and Gaus Mohammad, the two people charged in this case, may have been found, but the entire state has been affected by restrictions and an internet blackout.

India does not have stand-alone hate crime legislation. A few sections of the Indian Penal Code (153A, 295, 298 etc.) are used to deal with what would be widely considered hate crimes. Hate crimes are distinguished by the underlying motive behind the crime and not the crime itself.

Indian Laws Against Hate Crimes:[4]

Hate crime is neither well defined in the Indian legal framework nor can it be easily reduced to a standard definition

The Indian Constitution guarantees equality and prohibits discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth, (Article 14) but despite this, hate crimes remain a persistent problem in the country.

However, Hate speeches are dealt with IPC under Sections 153A, 153B, 295A, 298, 505(1) and 505(2) which declares that word, spoken or written, that promotes disharmony, hatred, or insults on basis of religion, ethnicity, culture, language, region, caste, community, race etc., is punishable under law.

Major Factors Responsible for Hate Crime[5]

o Religious and Ethnic Tensions:

o Caste-based Discrimination

o Lack of Political Will

o Social Media and Misinformation

Types of Hate Crime

Hate crime can be of three main types: physical assault, verbal abuse and incitement to hatred.

I. Physical Assault: It occurs when a person uses physical violence and causes injury to another person's body.[6] If someone is a victim of physical assault he/she must report it

II. Verbal Abuse[7]: Verbal abuse, threats or name-calling can be a common and extremely unpleasant experience for minority groups.

Victims of verbal abuse are often unclear whether an offence has been committed or believe there is little they can do. However, there are laws in place to protect you from verbal abuse. If someone has been the victim of verbal abuse, talk to the police or one of our partner organisations about what has happened. Even if you don’t know who verbally abused you, the information could still help us to improve how we police the area where the abuse took place.

III. Incitement to Hatred:[8] this offence occurs when someone acts in a way that is threatening and intended to stir up hatred. It could be in words, pictures, videos, music etc.

Hate content may include:

· messages calling for violence against a specific person or group

· web pages that show pictures, videos or descriptions of violence against anyone due to their perceived differences

· chat forums where people ask other people to commit hate crimes against a specific person or group

Ways to deal with hate crimes[9]

· Awareness Campaigns: one must raise awareness about hate crime many people even don’t the meaning of hate crime and how harmfully it can affect individuals and society as whole

· Mass media campaigns can be done to educate people about the consequences of hate crimes and encourage them to report such incidents.

· Forming of communities: communities can play an important role in addressing hate crimes. They can together create a space where people can come together and have an open discussion about what divides them

· Use of Technology: Technology can be used to improve reporting and tracking of hate crimes. This can include developing online reporting systems and using data analytics to identify trends and hotspots for a hate crimes.

· Stiffer Penalties: Another way to deal with hate crime is to impose stiffer penalties on those who engage in such behaviour. This can serve as a deterrent to others who may be considering committing hate crimes.

3. Conclusion[10]


India hasn't even begun to establish a law to fight these crimes. A strong law will go a long way in enabling the judiciary to examine crimes from the perspective of the victim's caste, religion, etc., and effectively drive down crime rates. Social reform and sensitization are indeed needed to exterminate hate crimes.


Reference [1]https://www.researchgate.net/publication/344810295_Hate_crimes_in_India_What_makes_lynching_special [2] https://www.drishtiias.com/to-the-points/Paper2/hate-crime-1 [3] India needs a hate crime law (indiatimes.com) [4] https://www.drishtiias.com/daily-updates/daily-news-analysis/hate-crimes-in-india#:~:text=However%2C%20Hate%20speeches%20are%20dealt,.%2C%20is%20punishable%20under%20law [5] https://www.drishtiias.com/daily-updates/daily-news-analysis/hate-crimes-in-india#:~:text=However%2C%20Hate%20speeches%20are%20dealt,.%2C%20is%20punishable%20under%20law [6] https://www.victimsofcrime.vic.gov.au/the-crime/types-of-crime/physical-assault#:~:text=A%20physical%20assault%20occurs%20when,may%20be%20called%20a%20homicide. [7] https://www.met.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/hco/hate-crime/what-is-hate-crime/ [8] https://www.met.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/hco/hate-crime/what-is-hate-crime/ [9] https://www.drishtiias.com [10]https://lawbhoomi.com

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