Against Hate

 “Any crime that is motivated by hostility on the grounds of race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity, can be classed as a hate crime”. It is usually violent, which occurs when a perpetrator targets a victim because of his or her membership (or perceived membership) in a certain social group. “Hate crimes are pernicious; they send the message that some people deserve to be targeted solely because of who they are or who they are believed to be. As such, they have impact over wider society, beyond that on individual victims. (quoted from UK Hate Crime Action Plan, 2016)

Hate crimes have severe psychological consequences, principally: (i) impact on the individual victim; (ii) impact on the targeted community; (iii) Effect on other vulnerable groups; (iv) Effect on the community as a whole. Because these acts are thought to inflict greater individual and societal harm, they are also expected to provoke retaliatory crimes, inflict distinct emotional harms on their victims, and incite community unrest. As such, these crimes are fit for penalty-enhancement hate crime laws to fight them.

We have seen a rise in hate crime in India recently.

It becomes important in this charged milieu to give space to voices that are inclusive and speak out boldly against hate. Citizens Against Hate seeks to do this through initiatives to document hate crimes and violence, and to bring together people and communities – majority and minority. Because as the world has shown time and again, there are always more people willing to rise against hate and bigotry. We want to be able to create that inclusive platform. An individual may be the victim, but the entire community needs to fight back. And this community needs just one identity to understand and belong, the identity of humanity.

Laws against Hate Crimes in India

Provisions in Indian law that proximate to hate crime law, are those under section 153A IPC (promoting enmity between groups and acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony); 153B IPC (acts prejudicial to maintenance of national integration);295A IPC (acts intended to outrage religious feelings); and 295B IPC (words intended to hurt religious feelings). There are several issues here: There is little use of these provisions of the law, by law enforcement agencies, to investigate hate crime. Of all the 24 cases of lynchings and vigilante violence we examined as part of our fact finding investigation, not one case had these provisions included in police FIRs against the accused. NCRB’s own data that is available to the public, records only 7 cases under Sec 153 A and Sec 153B of IPC in the year 2014, a minuscule figure, compared to the large number of cases reported in the media. Moreover, even where hate crime has been recorded under these sections, data is not provided disaggregated by identity groups. There is no way to know then, the difference between the ‘victim’ and the ‘perpetrator’ in these cases. Similar is the case of ‘communal violence’ that finds mention in NCRB reports, with little recording of agency – who was the victim, and who the perpetrators.

International
  1. Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR): art 7: Equality before the law, and equal protection of the law. Also protection against discrimination in violation of this declaration, and against any incitement to such discrimination
  2. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR): Art 20(2): Any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law.
  3. International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD): Art 4 particularly, regards incitement and actions based on ideas of racial superiority or hatred, among others.

Hate inspired lynchings and vigilante violence are still treated as normal murders and assaults, and recorded and prosecuted as such, as if the identity of the victim was of no consequence to the act of the violence. But these acts are clearly motivated by hate and prejudice, and need to be treated as such. India is one of the very few plural democracies without an inclusive hate crime law. Barring the Scheduled Caste & Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 2015, there is little for other vulnerable groups – religious minorities, as also ethnic (students from Northeastern states are regularly attacked in Delhi and other cities for eg., where ethnic minorities such as those from the northeastern parts of the country are seen as outsiders) and sexual minorities, and those with disabilities, among others. There is little recognition that crimes against minority groups motivated by their identity, not only affect deeply, the victims directly, but also other members of the community, as well as the wider society – and thus are hate crime, that should be treated as ‘aggravated’, deserving higher levels of penalties.

Civil Society can work on these challenges, to being people together on common platforms, document hate crime and hate violence; and report those to appropriate audiences, to create awareness; and bring the issues in the public domain. Advocacy with the executive, legislative and judicial wings is also required for improved outcomes for victims of hate crime; and for creation and strengthening of safeguards (laws, systems and capacities) against hate crime. We also need to create wider acceptance in the country against hate speech and crimes directed at minority groups, and against impunity in these cases. Equally important, it is to provide legal awareness and legal training to victims, and vulnerable communities on hate crime, accessing justice, obtaining compensation et al; and provide legal aid, other support to victims to be able to fights cases and obtain justice.

We recognise the significant work being done by various other groups, individuals and organisations to counter the rising tide of hate and intolerance. We hope our endeavour adds to their tireless efforts and voices.

+ About

 “Any crime that is motivated by hostility on the grounds of race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity, can be classed as a hate crime”. It is usually violent, which occurs when a perpetrator targets a victim because of his or her membership (or perceived membership) in a certain social group. “Hate crimes are pernicious; they send the message that some people deserve to be targeted solely because of who they are or who they are believed to be. As such, they have impact over wider society, beyond that on individual victims. (quoted from UK Hate Crime Action Plan, 2016)

Hate crimes have severe psychological consequences, principally: (i) impact on the individual victim; (ii) impact on the targeted community; (iii) Effect on other vulnerable groups; (iv) Effect on the community as a whole. Because these acts are thought to inflict greater individual and societal harm, they are also expected to provoke retaliatory crimes, inflict distinct emotional harms on their victims, and incite community unrest. As such, these crimes are fit for penalty-enhancement hate crime laws to fight them.

We have seen a rise in hate crime in India recently.

It becomes important in this charged milieu to give space to voices that are inclusive and speak out boldly against hate. Citizens Against Hate seeks to do this through initiatives to document hate crimes and violence, and to bring together people and communities – majority and minority. Because as the world has shown time and again, there are always more people willing to rise against hate and bigotry. We want to be able to create that inclusive platform. An individual may be the victim, but the entire community needs to fight back. And this community needs just one identity to understand and belong, the identity of humanity.

+ Definition
Laws against Hate Crimes in India

Provisions in Indian law that proximate to hate crime law, are those under section 153A IPC (promoting enmity between groups and acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony); 153B IPC (acts prejudicial to maintenance of national integration);295A IPC (acts intended to outrage religious feelings); and 295B IPC (words intended to hurt religious feelings). There are several issues here: There is little use of these provisions of the law, by law enforcement agencies, to investigate hate crime. Of all the 24 cases of lynchings and vigilante violence we examined as part of our fact finding investigation, not one case had these provisions included in police FIRs against the accused. NCRB’s own data that is available to the public, records only 7 cases under Sec 153 A and Sec 153B of IPC in the year 2014, a minuscule figure, compared to the large number of cases reported in the media. Moreover, even where hate crime has been recorded under these sections, data is not provided disaggregated by identity groups. There is no way to know then, the difference between the ‘victim’ and the ‘perpetrator’ in these cases. Similar is the case of ‘communal violence’ that finds mention in NCRB reports, with little recording of agency – who was the victim, and who the perpetrators.

International
  1. Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR): art 7: Equality before the law, and equal protection of the law. Also protection against discrimination in violation of this declaration, and against any incitement to such discrimination
  2. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR): Art 20(2): Any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law.
  3. International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD): Art 4 particularly, regards incitement and actions based on ideas of racial superiority or hatred, among others.
+ Challenges

Hate inspired lynchings and vigilante violence are still treated as normal murders and assaults, and recorded and prosecuted as such, as if the identity of the victim was of no consequence to the act of the violence. But these acts are clearly motivated by hate and prejudice, and need to be treated as such. India is one of the very few plural democracies without an inclusive hate crime law. Barring the Scheduled Caste & Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 2015, there is little for other vulnerable groups – religious minorities, as also ethnic (students from Northeastern states are regularly attacked in Delhi and other cities for eg., where ethnic minorities such as those from the northeastern parts of the country are seen as outsiders) and sexual minorities, and those with disabilities, among others. There is little recognition that crimes against minority groups motivated by their identity, not only affect deeply, the victims directly, but also other members of the community, as well as the wider society – and thus are hate crime, that should be treated as ‘aggravated’, deserving higher levels of penalties.

Civil Society can work on these challenges, to being people together on common platforms, document hate crime and hate violence; and report those to appropriate audiences, to create awareness; and bring the issues in the public domain. Advocacy with the executive, legislative and judicial wings is also required for improved outcomes for victims of hate crime; and for creation and strengthening of safeguards (laws, systems and capacities) against hate crime. We also need to create wider acceptance in the country against hate speech and crimes directed at minority groups, and against impunity in these cases. Equally important, it is to provide legal awareness and legal training to victims, and vulnerable communities on hate crime, accessing justice, obtaining compensation et al; and provide legal aid, other support to victims to be able to fights cases and obtain justice.

+ Report
+ Map
+ Allies

We recognise the significant work being done by various other groups, individuals and organisations to counter the rising tide of hate and intolerance. We hope our endeavour adds to their tireless efforts and voices.

+ Track