In a landmark judgment to curb hate speech Supreme Court of India has directed all the state governments and union territories to arrest individuals who indulge in hate speeches, no matter which religion they are from.
So, no formal complaint is necessary from anyone to act on hate speeches. The governments and police can arrest anyone, whoever indulges in hate speech.
As citizens, we are curious to know what is “hate speech” after all. Who defines it? If the government defines it in its way, then it can utilise police for its political gains by arresting anyone when they question the government, terming it as hate speech.
Also, in its order, it has no mention that atheists will get arrested if hate speech is made. Naturally, they are more immune than religious persons, is that so?
What about some political leaders who spew venom in society for the votes? If they are from the ruling government party, then who dares to take action against them? Because the police are under their government.
The police force is not independent in our country. Under these circumstances, how can they act against hate mongers in the ruling dispensation or the government? How will the Supreme Court ensure that the culprits in the ruling dispensation get arrested?
Another scenario is when the government wants to invest in a project, which a section of the public is protesting vehemently, then will that be counted as hate speech?
If a government allows a public-opposed comedy show which attacks gods, then Who will police act against? Is that not state-sponsored hate on which action be taken? But, it is far from reality when we saw a comedian being allowed into Hyderabad even after public criticism.
If the government acts blindly on the hate speech of an elected leader against a community. Allows him a free pass to roam across the country, thus mocking the judiciary, how can the public feel assured about hate laws being applied in a true sense?
So, it is very important to make the police force independent and hate laws truly applicable equally to everyone. Can Supreme Court ensure it?