31, Jan 2019 | Shweta Sengar
India has witnessed a surge in hate crimes targeted at already vulnerable communities over the past few years. Not just India, developed democracies around the world are reeling under a spike in hate crimes.
Reports of religious-based hate-crime cases have surged in India since the Narendra Modi-led NDA came to power in 2014, according to new data from IndiaSpend.
According to the data, Muslims are devastatingly the victims and Hindus are often the perpetrators. Incidents of communal violence, such as riots between religious/caste communities have rose 28 per cent between 2014 and 2017.
Marriage, caste, class, vegetarian and non-vegetarian divide, Muslims, cow vigilantism, Dalits, etc have been at the centre of prejudice and led to rioting and mob lynching, and have created an atmosphere of hate and bigotry, hampering the socio-cultural fabric of the country.
On January 30, 2019, the 71st anniversary of the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) launched ‘Hate Hatao’, a revolutionary new app designed to fight hate. The hate can be used by anyone with an Android phone.
The CJP was formed in 2002 in the aftermath of Gujarat communal riots.
The government of India does not record religion-driven hate crimes as separate offences. This is the first step in India to record hate crimes.
The citizens can record and report any hate crime that they happen to be a witness to. The Hate Hatao app will enable citizens to report to CJP any instances of hate speech, threats and hate crimes with appropriate evidences, such a screenshots, video or photo. Users can also report incidents of harassment, discrimination and bigotry.
This complaint will then be taken up by CJP to the authorities like National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the Press Council of India (PCI), the National Broadcasters Association (NBA), Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms or law enforcement agencies.
FIRs will be lodged and cases will be pursued in Court. The app will also notify users on a real-time basis about the proceedings.
“We are launching this App #HateHatao as a means to not simply monitor and track the spread of different kinds of hate (speech, action and writing) but to also spread an understanding and awareness of the difference and nuances between free speech and hate speech,” said CJP in a press release.
CJP is headed by activist Teesta Setalvad along with other social activists.
Hate Hatao is part of CJPs Hate Watch Campaign which aims to spread awareness and improve understanding about hate speech that provokes hate and violence against minorities and marginalised groups.
The complete original article may be read here.