India needs an app like Hate Hatao now more than ever

Written by Sabrangindia | Published on: January 31, 2019

In a growing atmosphere of communal hatred, bigotry, and violence, HateHatao will enable any person to report instances of hate speech, threats, and hate crimes, with the appropriate evidence, such as a screenshot, video or a picture on the app.


Hate hatao
 
More than 20 crore Indians use WhatsApp and a larger number have their accounts on Facebook. The rising polarization and hateful rhetoric have led to the murder of almost 22 individuals in child lifting rumours across the country in 2018.
 
There is a steady rise in the number of incidents of mob lynching (around 85) over suspicion of cow slaughter and child lifting and hate crimes according to Centre for Study of Society and Secularism (CSSS) findings which also are indicators reflecting the prevalence of communal violence in the country.
 
According to data analytics site India Spend, 45 people were killed in 120 cases of cow-related violence reported across India between 2012 and 2018. The highest number of violent incidents were recorded in the state of Uttar Pradesh, with 19 verified incidents of cow-related violence resulting in 11 deaths.
 
US intelligence’s latest edition of worldwide threat assessment report has warned of a spike in communal violence during the parliamentary polls in India if the BJP stresses “Hindu nationalist themes.”
 
What makes Indians kill their own countrymen? How do you plug the hatred that tells you to “Marry pure,” “choose the right caste and class,” the veg – non-veg divide, ‘brown and dark are not beautiful’, ‘fair means lovely’, ‘Muslim means barbaric’, ‘violent and Dalit means dirty and even untouchable’ or ‘Christian is Western and foreign.’
 
Today, prejudice and hatred are being served at every dinner table in the country.
 
“Key to understanding what constitutes hate speech or hate writing is whether it, under scrutiny, affects the equality, fraternity and dignity of any section. Hate speech (writing) by its very nature seeks to diminish the targeted section’s participation in economic, political and social spheres. It attempts to reduce them to second class citizens, to wrest them of their basic rights. A crucial guideline is that inciting hate speech is a means of subordination,” Teesta Setalvad wrote for The Wire.
 
India in 2019 is grappling with the abuse of the free speech doctrine, especially from elected officials holding positions of authority. It is crucial that Indian law, which empowers weaker sections from this misuse of the ‘free speech’ doctrine is invoked when it turns abusive and inciteful against marginalised sections, she said.
 
Her engagement with the politics of hate has been individual and organisational. Through cjp.org.in, her three-decade-long experience has materialised into the HateHatao app.
 
In a growing atmosphere of communal hatred, bigotry, and violence, HateHatao will enable any person to report instances of hate speech, threats, and hate crimes, with the appropriate evidence, such as a screenshot, video or a picture. CJP will then take this up as a complaint to authorities such as the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the Press Council of India (PCI), the National Broadcasters Association (NBA), Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms or law enforcement agencies. In the most serious cases, efforts will be made to lodge FIRs and pursue the cases in court.
 
The HateHatao App will also share tutorials and classes on law and jurisprudence, share how judicial commission reports, analysing bouts of vicious communal violence, have viewed the pernicious role of hate speech.
 
The objective is not simply to monitor the spread, reach and depth of hate speech and writing but to empower citizens in understanding the phenomenon and acting cohesively to nip its spiral and growth. In its essence, it ensures that the helplessness and anger that marginalised sections experience is now channelized into concrete, lawful intervention and action, she said.
 
Download HateHatao App from the Google Playstore and choose how you want to stop prejudice and hatred from being everyday fodder. You can educate yourself on how hate speech works and how you can help by reporting hateful incidents, speech and targets on the app.(https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.hatehatao.hatehatao)