oppn parties Hate Speech Case: Different Yardstick For Religious Leaders?

News Snippets

  • Supreme Court stays Karnataka HC order blocking operations of Kannada news channel Power TV. Says right to free speech must be "zealously protected" by courts
  • Opposition slams Centre for Samvidhan Hatya Diwas, says the Constitution is being murdered on daily basis under the present BJP government
  • Centre notifies June 25 as 'Samvidhan Hatya Diwas'. This was the date on which Indira Gandhi imposed the Emergency in 1975
  • Bengal moves SC against state governor for keeping 8 bills pending
  • Mamata Banerjee meets Uddhav Thackeray in Mumbai, says 'khela on' and promises to campaign for his party in the Maharashtra assembly elections
  • Stars and eminent persons from across the globe attend the wedding of Anant Ambani with Radhika Merchant at the Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai
  • Controversial IAS trainee Puja Khedkar faces dismissal from service if her quato and disability claims are found false
  • SC says stay on bail should be in rare cases like terrorism or where order is perverse otherwise personal liberty and Article 21 will go for a toss
  • Supreme Court says judicial review of arrests by ED is necessary to check improper exrecise of power to arrest
  • Supreme Court grants interim bail to Arvind Kejriwal in the money laundering case in Delhi liquor policy case but he will remain in jail as he is under CBI detention in the corruption case in the same scam
  • Retail inflation rises to 5.1% in June, the highest in 4 months
  • Government to avoid merger of BSNL-MTNL. Instead, MTNL's operations will be shifted to BSNL to give the latter an all-India presence
  • Women's U-19 Asia Cup: India to clash with Pakistan on July 19
  • Paris Olympics badminton draws: P V Sindhu in easy group but gets a tough draw later while H S Prannoy and Lakshya Sen might clash in pre-quarter finals
  • After two consecutive wins, India look to seal series when they meet Zimbabwe in the 4th T20 today
BJP and allies win all 9 seats they contested in the Maharashtra Legislative Council poll
oppn parties
Hate Speech Case: Different Yardstick For Religious Leaders?

By Linus Garg
First publised on 2022-01-14 11:20:43

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Linus tackles things head-on. He takes sides in his analysis and it fits excellently with our editorial policy. No 'maybe's' and 'allegedly' for him, only things in black and white.

The Uttarakhand police have stirred into action in the Haridwar hate speech case after the Supreme Court issued a notice asking for an action taken report. But that this action is just to have something to put on paper before the court is obvious as till now they have only arrested Jitendra Narayan Singh Tiwari, alias Wasim Rizvi, one of the many accused in the case. Notably, they failed to arrest Yati Narshinghanand or Sadhvi Annapurna, the religious leaders mentioned in the FIR (although they have been summoned for questioning). This is despite the fact that when Tiwari was arrested, he was travelling with Narshinghanand and the latter even asked the police that why are they taking action only against Tiwari when he (Narshinghanand) is a co-accused.

One fails to understand what is stopping the police from arresting the other two when evidence in the form of widely circulated videos of the hate speech already exists in public domain. By arresting Tiwari alone, the police are discriminating as they should also have called him first for questioning as they have called Narshinghanand and Annapurna. Or are there different rules for religious leaders and others?

With the Supreme Court hearing the matter, it is just a matter of time before the police will have to conduct a thorough investigation and arrest the accused. Then even political backing will not be enough to shield them from arrest. That the accused have not applied for anticipatory bail just shows how secure they think they are by virtue of their connections and elevated status as religious leaders. But once the wheels of law start turning, they will not be spared.

What others have been arrested for under the sedition law seems childish when compared to the kind of inflammatory, divisive, hate-mongering and blatantly anti-national speeches made at the so-called Dharam Sansad in Haridwar. Calling for genocide of fellow citizens is like calling for civil war. Hopefully, the Supreme Court will punish the guilty as per the law of the land.