15, Oct 2022 | CJP Team
The provocative speeches made at Delhi’s “Virat Hindu Sabha”, calling for a boycott of the Muslim community and even threatening violence,have been the subject matter of public debate, even outrage. The event, organized by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), was held in North East Delhi on October 9, 2022and witnessed some self-professed religious leaders and members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), espousing a hard, right-wing, exclusionist ideology delivering incendiary speeches that have the potential to incite hate and violence.
In order to ensure that a serious inquiry takes place in this matter, Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) has approached the National Commission of Minorities (NCM) to exercise its adjudicatory jurisdiction, initiate its own inquiry and monitor the police investigation as well.
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The most concerning fact about the impunity concerning the said instances of hate speech is that the Delhi Police have not taken any action against these perpetrators (till the time this complaint has been sent). As per news reports, and as mentioned in the complaint, an FIR that has been filed only under Section 188, that is, for lack of permission for holding the event. Some news reports suggest that the political leadership of the BJP has ‘admonished’ its leaders like Parvesh Verma for their role in delivering hate speeches.
CJP, in its complaint to the NCM, has detailed the hate speeches and call to targeted violence made by the following people:
- BJP MP Pravesh Sahib Singh Verma
- BJP MLA Nand Kishore Gurjar
- Religious leader Mahant Nawal Kishore Das
- Jagat Guru Yogeshwar Acharya
The complaint details excerpts of these speeches and has also shared with the NCM, the videos that were widely circulated on social media, which become proof that these speeches that were delivered. The complaint also details the various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Indian Arms Act that should be invoked in this case.
Videos of the speeches made at the event went viral on social media. In the present video, Verma can be seen and heard saying, “Jahan jahan yeh aaapko dikhaee de, mai kehta hun, agar inka dimaag thik karna hai… toh ek hi ilaaj hai, woh hai sampurna bahishkar… Aap is baat se sehmat ho?” (If you want to set their minds right, if you want to cure them, there is only one solution – complete boycott.)
This is not the first time Verma has made comments targeted at Muslims. In January 2020, in the run up to Assembly Elections in Delhi, Parvesh Verma had in an interview to the news agency ANI, made disparaging remarks about the Muslim community in connection with the Shaheen Bagh protests. In the said speech, Verma had also openly threatened Shaheen Bagh protesters as he addressed a rally in Delhi. Parvesh Verma said if the BJP is voted to power in Delhi, it will only take an hour to ‘clear off protests in Shaheen Bagh’.
In another purported video that has been attached to the complaint, Nawal Kishore Das was heard saying that a knife fight cannot be fought with words. He said that Hindus have to take both Shastra (scriptures) and Shastra (weapons) together. He then suggested violence and asked the public to “get guns, get license. If you don’t get licenses, don’t worry. Those who come to kill you, do they have licenses? So why do you need a license?”
The complaint underscores how these statements “have now gone beyond being just hate speech and have become brazen calls for genocide and encouragement to pick up arms against the minority community.” The complaint further says, “Hate speech has not been dealt with an iron hand in the past few years and these makers of hate speech have not faced any serious legal action till date which has resultantly given them a free hand and has pushed them to make worse statements than they may have made before. The impunity with which they have been dealt with until now has made the social media a breeding ground for such public figures who have a wide audience who comment on their hate speeches, gets inspired by them and commit more illegal acts.”
The complaint urges NCM to take appropriate action saying, “The importance to act strictly and earnestly in this matter cannot be stressed upon enough and we are certain that you understand the magnitude of the situation. It poses a serious threat to the secular fabric of our country and need to be acted against at every instance so that it acts as a deterrent. If appropriate action is taken by this Commission, it will not only give a sense of security to the minority community but will also strengthen the values of fraternity, secularism that our Constitution upholds.”
The complaint may be read here: