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Using children to chant communal hate slogans fosters hate 

A video showing the small boy raising hate slogans in a PFI rally in Alappuzha, Kerala, has raised serious concerns

Sabrangindia 24 May 2022

PFI
Image: Screengrab

“Keep rice… incense ready stocked in your homes… for last rites. If you want to live in our land you need to live within the limits of discipline… or else…” a basic translation of what a little boy sitting on the shoulders of a man is chanting/ singing, as an anthem at a march called by the Popular Front of India (PFI).

The video showing the small boy raising hate slogans in a PFI rally in Alappuzha, Kerala, has since gone viral on social media. While any such hateful communal slogans need to be condemned by all, this video is now also being shared by the right wing ecosystem as being a ‘threat’ to the community and a preview of ‘Kerala turning into Kashmir’... further stoking communal sentiments. 

According to a report in The News Minute, the march/rally was held as part of the Jana Maha Sammelanam in Alappuzha on Saturday May 21. The young boy has the PFI flag draped around him, while he ‘leads’ the provocative slogans, repeated by the adults around him. The slogans, seen in two videos, according to TNM, “are mostly directed towards ‘sanghis’, asking them to live 'properly' or they will have to get ready for their final rites” Many social media users have also said the slogans refer to items used in funeral rites of Hindus, and Christians, and the slogans are thus a ‘threat’ or ‘warning’ as well. According to news reports, police told the media “a preliminary investigation is underway but no case has been registered so far.”

Meanwhile, the PFI state secretary CA Raoof, reported TNK, circulated “an internal note”, to the media stating, “We have given approved slogans which were to be raised in the public rally at Alappuzha. Thousands of party workers and others joined the rally protesting against the RSS. The visual of a boy raising slogans came to our notice now. Those slogans were not approved or given by the organisers of the rally. It's not the policy of the organisation to provoke or raise provocative slogans." 

However, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has now taken notice of the issue and sought registration of an FIR against those responsible for allegedly letting a child raise provocative slogans during the rally. In a letter to the Kerala police chief, NCPCR said that it has received a complaint over the child shouting slogans in Malayalam.

 

 

According to news reports, a complainant told NCPCR, that the PFI flag “is clearly seen in the video,” and also accused Kerala police of “not taking any action against the parents of the child and the PFI." The NCPCR reportedly wrote to the Director General of Police (DGP) saying, “The Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) and the PFI are using children to spread hatred, enmity and communal violence in the country,” adding that this violated Section 75 and Section 83 of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015. The commission stated, “In view of the sensitivity of the matter, it is requested that your good offices may kindly look into the matter and initiate necessary inquiry to ensure the welfare and safety of children, by lodging an FIR at the first instance, under Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 and relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code.” According to news reports, the NCPCR has asked Kerala police for an action taken report, and a fact-finding enquiry report, within seven days of receipt of the letter.

Justice P Gopinath of Kerala High Court had on Monday, two days after the PFI rally had observed while hearing a batch of POCSO cases that children “do not have the legal right to vote or even drive till they are 18. Under the guise of freedom of speech and religion, can they be made to be a part of political rallies or religious rallies? I just want to know whether there is any law which prohibits this.” 

According to a Bar and Bench report, Justice Gopinath, said at a casual exchange with the Bar, that he had seen a "provocative" video of a child "spewing hatred" at a political rally, and said, “Children being forced to take part in political rallies and being made to voice all sorts of provocative slogans. That is some new kind of attraction it seems. How far is that legal?" The judge asked if this was “not fostering a new generation that grows up with this religious hatred in mind? I was just wondering about the fact that when this child grows and he becomes a major, his mind will already be conditioned to this kind of rhetoric. Something must be done."

Justice Gopinath said, “Children must be totally prohibited from taking part in these rallies, sloganeering etc. Using them like this should not be okay. They do not have the legal right to vote or even drive till they are 18. Under the guise of freedom of speech and religion, can they be made to be a part of political rallies or religious rallies? He does not know what he is saying."

Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor has expressed shock at the incident saying, “Hate speech and intimidating slogans are deplorable irrespective of the politics behind them or the religion of those using them. Opposing communalism means opposing the communalism of all sides. I unequivocally condemn the threatening and communally charged slogans raised in the PFI rally held in Alappuzha.I urge the state government to take strong action against such miscreants.”

 

Related:

Hate Watch: Propaganda website Kreately, was first to mock 'Shivling'

Ubriddled hate and Islamophobia on display at RSS event

When and How Ram Vilas Paswan made a strong pitch for the Places of Worship Act, 1991

Filmmaker Avinash Das booked for sharing picture of Amit Shah with arrested IAS officer Pooja Singhal

Using children to chant communal hate slogans fosters hate 

A video showing the small boy raising hate slogans in a PFI rally in Alappuzha, Kerala, has raised serious concerns

PFI
Image: Screengrab

“Keep rice… incense ready stocked in your homes… for last rites. If you want to live in our land you need to live within the limits of discipline… or else…” a basic translation of what a little boy sitting on the shoulders of a man is chanting/ singing, as an anthem at a march called by the Popular Front of India (PFI).

The video showing the small boy raising hate slogans in a PFI rally in Alappuzha, Kerala, has since gone viral on social media. While any such hateful communal slogans need to be condemned by all, this video is now also being shared by the right wing ecosystem as being a ‘threat’ to the community and a preview of ‘Kerala turning into Kashmir’... further stoking communal sentiments. 

According to a report in The News Minute, the march/rally was held as part of the Jana Maha Sammelanam in Alappuzha on Saturday May 21. The young boy has the PFI flag draped around him, while he ‘leads’ the provocative slogans, repeated by the adults around him. The slogans, seen in two videos, according to TNM, “are mostly directed towards ‘sanghis’, asking them to live 'properly' or they will have to get ready for their final rites” Many social media users have also said the slogans refer to items used in funeral rites of Hindus, and Christians, and the slogans are thus a ‘threat’ or ‘warning’ as well. According to news reports, police told the media “a preliminary investigation is underway but no case has been registered so far.”

Meanwhile, the PFI state secretary CA Raoof, reported TNK, circulated “an internal note”, to the media stating, “We have given approved slogans which were to be raised in the public rally at Alappuzha. Thousands of party workers and others joined the rally protesting against the RSS. The visual of a boy raising slogans came to our notice now. Those slogans were not approved or given by the organisers of the rally. It's not the policy of the organisation to provoke or raise provocative slogans." 

However, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has now taken notice of the issue and sought registration of an FIR against those responsible for allegedly letting a child raise provocative slogans during the rally. In a letter to the Kerala police chief, NCPCR said that it has received a complaint over the child shouting slogans in Malayalam.

 

 

According to news reports, a complainant told NCPCR, that the PFI flag “is clearly seen in the video,” and also accused Kerala police of “not taking any action against the parents of the child and the PFI." The NCPCR reportedly wrote to the Director General of Police (DGP) saying, “The Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) and the PFI are using children to spread hatred, enmity and communal violence in the country,” adding that this violated Section 75 and Section 83 of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015. The commission stated, “In view of the sensitivity of the matter, it is requested that your good offices may kindly look into the matter and initiate necessary inquiry to ensure the welfare and safety of children, by lodging an FIR at the first instance, under Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 and relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code.” According to news reports, the NCPCR has asked Kerala police for an action taken report, and a fact-finding enquiry report, within seven days of receipt of the letter.

Justice P Gopinath of Kerala High Court had on Monday, two days after the PFI rally had observed while hearing a batch of POCSO cases that children “do not have the legal right to vote or even drive till they are 18. Under the guise of freedom of speech and religion, can they be made to be a part of political rallies or religious rallies? I just want to know whether there is any law which prohibits this.” 

According to a Bar and Bench report, Justice Gopinath, said at a casual exchange with the Bar, that he had seen a "provocative" video of a child "spewing hatred" at a political rally, and said, “Children being forced to take part in political rallies and being made to voice all sorts of provocative slogans. That is some new kind of attraction it seems. How far is that legal?" The judge asked if this was “not fostering a new generation that grows up with this religious hatred in mind? I was just wondering about the fact that when this child grows and he becomes a major, his mind will already be conditioned to this kind of rhetoric. Something must be done."

Justice Gopinath said, “Children must be totally prohibited from taking part in these rallies, sloganeering etc. Using them like this should not be okay. They do not have the legal right to vote or even drive till they are 18. Under the guise of freedom of speech and religion, can they be made to be a part of political rallies or religious rallies? He does not know what he is saying."

Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor has expressed shock at the incident saying, “Hate speech and intimidating slogans are deplorable irrespective of the politics behind them or the religion of those using them. Opposing communalism means opposing the communalism of all sides. I unequivocally condemn the threatening and communally charged slogans raised in the PFI rally held in Alappuzha.I urge the state government to take strong action against such miscreants.”

 

Related:

Hate Watch: Propaganda website Kreately, was first to mock 'Shivling'

Ubriddled hate and Islamophobia on display at RSS event

When and How Ram Vilas Paswan made a strong pitch for the Places of Worship Act, 1991

Filmmaker Avinash Das booked for sharing picture of Amit Shah with arrested IAS officer Pooja Singhal

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