Will the Govt. imprison Pravin Togadia? #hatespeech


 

Petition filed against Togadia, Owaisi,Others – Hate Speeches

Written by Agencies | January 10, 2013 |

Hyderabad : President of Deccan Wakf properties Protection Society, Osman Bin Mohammed Al-Hajri, has failed a complaint against Praveen Togadia, International General Secretary of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Akberuddin Owaisi, MLA of Chadrayangutta, Muneeruddin Muqtar, Convenor, Muttaheda Majlis-e-Amal and others, in the court of Sixth Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate here, on January 7, stating that they were indulging in hate speeches, and hence action should be taken against them.

Togadia, Akberuddin Owaisi
Al-Hajri filed the petition through his Advocates Syed Kareemuddin Shakeel and Mohammed Khan. The petitioner and the Advocate Kareemuddin shakeel, informed the media here today, that the Sixth chief additional Metropolitan Magistrate, after hearing the arguments, referred the said complaint to the Police Station, Tappachabutra in the city and directed the police to register the case against the above mentioned accused persons and take appropriate legal action against them.
In the complaint, the petitioner alleged that Praveen Togadia had visited Hyderabad in December last, openly threatened the Muslims of bloodshed. By making serious and highly objectionable remarks against the Muslim community, he Infused tension in both the communities, which can cause hate feelings in both the communities which is hazardous to the peace and tranquility of Hyderabad and the State.
The alleged that Muneeruddin Muqtar had conducted series of public meetings in the districts of the State, in which Akbaruddin Owaisi had made inflammatory and provocative speeches and made some derogatory and insulting remarks against the Hindu community, and insulted their religious faith and their gods. The derogatory remarks made by Owaisi are totally against the Islamic teachings. Any Muslim who has faith in Quran will not make any such derogatory remarks against the other religious faith and hurt their sentiments of other religious group. Quran says “Don’t insult other religion’s Gods and faith”, he added.

 

Now that Owaisi is in jail, how about Praveen Togadia? #hatespeech


JANUARY 9, 2013

Guest post by MAHTAB ALAM, kafila.org

Akbaruddin Owaisi, an MLA of Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly, who belongs to a Hyderabad-based political party All India Majlis-e-Ittihad al-Muslimin, better known as MIM, and its floor leader in the Assembly made an inflammatory speech against Hindus on 24 December 2012 at a public meeting in Adilabad District. The speech attracted widespread condemnation by Muslim activists, rightly so, apart from left, liberal individuals and organizations. Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan, President, All India Muslim Majlis e Mushawarat (AIMMM), an umbrella body of prominent Indian Muslim organizations termed it ‘a hate and rash speech’ arguing, ‘words that should never have been uttered by a responsible person, let alone a political leader, were used’.

Shabnam Hashmi, a prominent social activist and who has been relentlessly working on the issue of minority rights registered an FIR in Delhi against Owaisi stating, ‘the whole speech is highly objectionable, inflammatory and against the values of our constitution, democracy and secular values’. Similarly, FIRs were also registered in the State invoking section 295 A (for deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings) and 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups) of Indian Penal Code (IPC). Owaisi was arrested finally arrested on Tuesday (8th January) and sent to 14-day judicial custody.

However, there was a small section of Muslims, mostly individuals, who held this as an illustration of the ‘double standards of civil society and state machinery’. The crux of their argument was, that while governments take speedy actions and act in a haste in the cases where Muslims are involved even in petty crimes, criminals belonging to the majority community roam free despite being involved in all sorts of serious crimes such as communal carnage, mass murders, looting and rapes, let alone the cases of hate speech. While on the surface, these allegations might appear as a desperate attempt to defend communalists belonging to the Muslim community – and indeed some of them may be—the fact is that these claims are not that far removed from reality.

Sample this. Praveen Togadia, Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s (VHP) international working President, during his recent visit to Hyderabad in December last year, made an equally inflammatory and communal speech while addressing a press conference in the city. The VHP president at the press conference on the issue of controversial Bhagya Lakshmi Mandir- Charminar threatened Muslims by saying that ‘VHP will convert Hyderabad into Ayodhya if Hindus are not allowed to perform Puja’. The simple fact is that Hindus have never been stopped from performing Puja. He further thundered the VHP would teach Muslims of Hyderabad a lesson that they would never forget. Following this, a few cases have been registered against him but the government is yet to act. It is well known of course that this is not the first time when he has made such a speech. In fact, several such cases are pending against Togadia, not only in Hyderabad but in different parts of the country; and the police and the governments have never acted against him.

And Togadia is not a solitary soldier: there is a veritable contingent of Togadias whose prime work is hate mongering and inciting violence, especially in situations where there are higher chances of communal disturbance and violence. It has become almost a routine for these forces to fuel violence in name of protecting their religion, religious tenets and identity or interests of their fellow religionists and people. Ashok Singhal, Adityanath Yogi, Uma Bharti, Sadhvi Ritambhara and Raj/Udhav Thackeray to name a few. What is strange, though often understood, that they draw their supports from political parties of all hues. While certified communal political parties like BJP and Shiv Sena lent them open support, self- appointed secular parties like Congress and Samajwadi Party would never bother to book them according to the law of the land despite ample evidence being available. Hence, these cases of selective action only prove that our governments utilize double standards for crimes of similar nature, for criminals belonging to minority and majority communities. Varun Gandhi is the sole exception, and there are indications already that the UP government may go slow on him, after he submitted an application for quashing of the case against him.

It was interesting also to see how the Owaisi saga played out in the electronic media. Watching these programmes, one would think that Owaisi was the originator of hate speech in India, and not simply one among the many who blight public discourse through their venom. TV anchors after anchor summoned ‘Muslim’ politicians from a range of political parties daring them to condemn Owaisi. Would the Congress Party spokesperson be ever asked to condemn Togadia – or Rithambara or Uma –as a Hindu or as someone opposed to their politics or ideology?  Why then this rush to seek declarations from Muslim politicians as Muslims? Coming just months after all TV channels were paying obeisance to Bal Thackeray, whose political career was built on hate and its articulation, the self righteousness of the various channel heads is only amusing.

So now that Owaisi is thankfully arrested, the larger question is: what about Singhals, Yogis, Bhartis and Thackerays? Will they ever be arrested and sent to jail like Owaisi for their umpteen numbers of crimes? This must be answered; at least to show that we as a constitutionally declared secular country – considered to be the world’s largest democracy – do not practice two different sets of rules for majority and minority. Remember, mere lip service like in the past would not work this time as it would only further the argument of the State practicing double standards.

Is anyone listening?

(Mahtab Alam is a Delhi based civil rights activist and freelance journalist. Email: activist dotjournalist at gmail dot com.)

PRESS RELEASE-Indian Americans condemn culture of #hatespeech, call for uniform application of the law


English: Akbaruddin Owaisi

PRESS RELEASE

Friday January 12, 2013

The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC –www.iamc.com ), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India‘s pluralist and tolerant ethos has expressed its unequivocal condemnation of the inflammatory and provocative language used by Mr. Akbaruddin Owaisi, a member of the Andhra Pradesh legislative assembly, at a public rally on December 24, 2012. IAMC has also called upon the state and central governments to apply the law uniformly to all such cases of speech that seeks to denigrate or ridicule any group of people, their religion or culture.

The right of free speech, guaranteed under article 19(1) of the Constitution of India, is subject to “reasonable restriction” under article 19(2). Such restrictions can be imposed in the interest of public order, decency or morality. Mr. Owaisi’s apparent ridiculing of Hindu deities not only threatens public order and breeches the norms of civil behavior, it also represents a violation of the Qur’anic injunction to desist from denigrating other religions.

Unfortunately, a culture of hate speech has been perpetuated for many years, due to the unwillingness of successive governments to confront this malaise in our public discourse. Mr. Praveen Togadia (VHP), Sadhvi Rithambara (RSS, Durga Vahini), Mr. L.K. Advani and Mr. Narendra Modi (BJP) and the late Mr. Bal Thackeray (Shiv Sena) are only a few among many that have persistently engaged in precisely the same kind of rabble-rousing rhetoric that Mr. Owaisi is being rightly pulled up for. Their words and actions have resulted in sectarian riots leading to the loss of thousands of lives, and the blighting of relations between communities, with no consequences to them on account of their actions.

“If hate speech had been consistently punished according to law, Mr. Owaisi would not have dared to engage in the kind of incendiary rhetoric that pits one community against another,” said Mr. Ahsan Khan, President of IAMC. “Absence of any prosecution against other hate-mongers will only reinforce the perception that the administration is active in invoking laws selectively, based on sectarian and political considerations,” added Mr. Khan.

IAMC has also called upon liberal activists to introspect on the implications of defending insults against religion heaped by individuals like Tasleema Nasreen and Salman Rushdie under the guise of free speech, while condemning sectarian zealots for similar provocations. Ridiculing that which is held sacred by any group of people can only lead to alienation, acrimony and the tearing apart of the nation’s social fabric.

The sectarian hate espoused by Pravin Togadia, Narendra Modi, Varun Gandhi and Akbaruddin is not representative of the majority of India’s Hindus and Muslims, who share a long and rich tradition of peaceful coexistence. IAMC appeals to the public to reject the divisive agenda of hate-mongers, and to strengthen grassroots efforts that promote communal amity.

Indian-American Muslim Council (formerly Indian Muslim CouncilUSA) is the largest advocacy organization of Indian Muslims in the United States with 13 chapters across the nation.

For more information please visit our new website at: http://www.iamc.com

References:1.    Hate Speech: Akbaruddin Owaisi arrested, police begin questioning
http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-01-08/hyderabad/36215317_1_akbaruddin-owaisi-mim-akbar-owaisi2.    Boycott Muslims In India Says Indian Hindu Extremist
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N55TTGLgS4k

3.    Praveen Togadia’s speech about Bhagyalakshmi Mandir at Charminar
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKM3jWPaMKk

4.    Praveen Togadia’s provocative speech against Muslims
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bNFN5j0dAU

5.   SP plans to drop cases against Varun, angers its own Muslim leaders
http://www.deccanherald.com/content/292506/sp-plans-drop-cases-against.html

6.  Maharaja Dharmendra’s hate speech in Hyderabad
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fLiw3SBJjg

CONTACT:

Indian American Muslim Council
Ishaq Syed
Phone: (800) 839-7270
Address:
6321 W Dempster St. Suite 295
Morton Grove, IL 60053
phone/fax: 1-800-839-7270
email: info@iamc.com

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