Independence Day celebrations across India marred by hate-fuelled events

Hate speech targeting Muslims mars celebrations, violent sloganeering at right-wing rallies overshadow unity and heritage.

As India celebrated its 77th Independence Day, several regions witnessed disturbing instances of hate speech and incitement to violence against the Muslim community. Slogans laced with violent undertones rang through rallies organised by various right-wing groups, casting a shadow over India’s legacy of unity and celebration.


In Jammu, the Rashtriya Bajrang Dal’s tiranga rally on 15th August 2023 saw violent slogans and anti-Muslim sentiments as participants chanted slogans laden with violence against Muslims. Amidst the tricolour backdrop, chants of “Jab mulle kate jayenge, Ram Ram chilayenge” (When Muslims would be chopped, they would cry Ram Ram) rang out.

Jaipur, Rajasthan

Similar sentiments echoed in Jaipur, Rajasthan, during a rally. Demonstrators were caught on video chanting, “Hindustan mein rehna hoga, Jai Sri Ram kehna hoga” (To live in India, one must chant Jai Sri Ram). Disturbingly, these slogans were raised in the presence of law enforcement officers – the police, and thus prompt questions about the role of authorities in quelling hate speech. The video surfaced online on 16th August, 2023.

Noida, UP

In Noida, Uttar Pradesh, prominent figure Suresh Chavhanke delivered a divisive speech, targeting the Muslim community. Chavhanke questioned their voting rights, implying that Muslims are a suspicious group and cannot be trust as they lack patriotism. He further alleged that the judiciary’s interference was biased against Hindu personal law, while Muslim personal law remained untouched.

Chavhanke clearly stated how one cannot gauge out how patriotic or nationalist a person is at heart, seeming to talk about Muslims, and he went on to say that even the ‘traitor’ has one vote, and even those who want India to be broken into “tukde tukde” (pieces) have one vote.  He also attacked the judiciary and talked about how Muslim personal law has never faced interference, but Hindu personal law always been facing interference by ‘nyaya palika’ (judiciary).” The video surfaced on 17th August, 2023.

Sirsi, Karnataka

On August 14th, in Sirsi, Karnataka, Hindu Jagaran Vedike (HJV) leader Jagadish Karanth’s speech took a dark turn as he openly called for violence against Muslims. In his inflammatory address, suggesting that those demanding partition be dealt with through violent means, drawing widespread condemnation, he told the crowd “They (Muslims) are again demanding partition; these people should be shot or chopped .”

Kaithal, Haryana

Meanwhile, at a Vishwa Hindu Parishad event on Jind Road, Kaithal, Haryana, Sadhvi Sushri Amrita Didi stoked the flames of intolerance on 15th August, 2023. Calling for an economic boycott of Muslims, she urged attendees to exclusively avail services provided by Hindus, regardless of whether it may cost them more. She stated, “There is still time, wakeup! Even if it may cost you loss, still only pay for services from Hindus!”

“It is 2023! If any India’s daughter is put on the street and forcibly taken by some monster, Rakshasa, vidharmi, or rapist, then she is shot when she refuses him.”

A public hate tracking resource led by CJP revealed new insights earlier this year into Hindutva’s evolving patterns in India. While communal riots have decreased, the focus has shifted towards fostering communalism through hate speech, conferences, economic boycotts, and mob violence targeting Dalits and Muslims. Rajasthan had 44 incidents, mainly hate speech and communal intimidation, involving VHP and Bajrang Dal. In Karnataka, there were 31 incidents, including communal violence and election hate speech. Haryana witnessed 25 incidents, featuring cow vigilantism, communal violence, and hate speech. Gujarat saw 19 incidents, with prominent hate speeches. Delhi recorded 18 incidents, including hate speech and communal violence.


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