A Gurugram court rejected the bail plea of Ram Bhagat Gopal who was accused of delivering inflammatory and communal speeches at a Mahapanchayat in Haryana. Gopal was also the man who shot at the protest against the Citizenship Amendment Bill outside Jamia Millia Islamia University in February 2020.
“The act of the accused i.e. hate speech qua instigating abduction and killing of girls and persons of a particular religious community is itself a form of violence and such people and their inflammatory speeches are obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit. It leads to destruction of our society as people will fight based on religion,” the order said.
Judicial Magistrate Mohammad Sageer stated in an order to reject the plea, that such communally charged speeches which create disharmony among people, are extremely harmful.
“Hate speech based on religion or caste has become fashion nowadays and police also seems to be helpless of dealing with such incidents. Such kind of people who are trying to create disharmony and imparting hatred amongst the common people are actually harming this country more than the pandemic,” the order said.
Gopal was given a platform to speak at the Mahapanchayat, where he used inflammatory language targeting Muslims, instigating mobs to abduct Muslim women and attack members of the community.
“Hate speech lays the groundwork for later, broad attacks on vulnerable that can range from discrimination, to ostracism, segregation, deportation, violence and, in the most extreme cases, to genocide. Hate speech also impacts a protected group’s ability to respond to the substantive ideas under debate, thereby placing a serious barrier to their full participation in our democracy,” the Court said.