Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) has approached the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITy) and the Ministry of Minority Affairs (MMA) with a complaint against Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati, who has been making offensive and discriminatory speech online, selectively targeting the Muslim community.
CJP’s complaint dated March 10, 2021, brings to the notice of both authorities, that Yati, a self-proclaimed Hindutva Leader, has been propagating unverified and provocative information about Islam, claiming Muslims are ‘Jihadis’ (militants) aspiring to dominate Hindustan. The complaint mentions that through his speeches that circulate online, he continues to appeal to all Hindus to protect their Dharam (religion), daughters and women as there is a Muslim jihadi everywhere, who is killing Hindus in every region of the world.
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The complaint documents Yati accusing an award- winning journalist Arfa Khanum Sherwani to be a “pakki jihadin” (person involved in militant activities) who works for a channel called “The Wire” which allegedly receives funding from unidentified Arab countries. He also blames Jamia Millia Islamia University (JMIU), Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama as the root cause of all anti-India activities.
The complaint to MEITY and MMA states how he has constantly vilified the Muslim community, appealing time and again to Hindus to “fight” and “sacrifice” for the sake of their religion to protect their Hindu Rashtra (nation). The CJP complaint has also quoted him saying that some of his Hindu followers have asked him about the low frequency of riots in India and the reason provided by him is that Hindus no longer have the courage to raise their voices against the alleged unjust society they are living in.
The complaint further states how Yati has been using the medium of social media to claim the purpose Jihad is to kill a kaafir (non-believer) or a non-Muslim, and to take control of a non-Muslim man’s wife and property. He provokes and sells hate by telling his followers that Jihad is a synonym of ‘cancer’ which needs to be ‘operated’ or surgically removed, insinuating that Jihad needs to be destroyed worldwide as it is the most ‘dangerous thing’.
Warning Indians against the country becoming an “Islamic nation’, the complaint states how his videos are offensive, discriminatory and highly provocative, selectively targeting only Islam. “For persons in India to selectively use such terms (Jihad) in a derogatory framework against only one section of Indians, Muslims, a religious minority is not just unlawful and unconstitutional but sinister when the authorities and government of the day does not firmly act to curtail, control and lawfully stop such hate speech and writing. Besides, political manipulations of faith to turn the state majoritarian is not limited to Islam alone,” reads the complaint.
CJP’s complaint also lists down the violation of several sections of the Information Technology Rules, and Indian Penal Code by allowing such content to be easily available online. It highlights the various offences of promoting enmity, causing disharmony, outraging religious feelings, spreading unverified claims and misinformation, that have been elaborated in detail in the complaint. It submits that his activity definitely falls under the ambit of Hate Speech that is intended to spread vicious hatred and dehumanise the already marginalised community.
CJP recognises that such dehumanisation and ostracisation is nothing short of a call for Genocide, which is a violation of the right to life and personal liberty of an entire community under Article 21 of the Constitution, and needs to be dealt with strictly. Hence, it has prayed that the Ministry(s) take cognisance of the gross misuse of digital platforms in spreading misinformation that makes the entire community targets of vigilante violence and ends up threatening the unity and integrity of secular India.
The entire complaint may be read here: