Rights groups seek Pragya Thakur’s disqualification from Parliament

The letter has been addressed to the Speaker of Lok Sabha seeking her disqualification for her recent hate speech in Shivamogga where she incited Hindus against Muslim community

Pragya Thakur

In an open letter to the Speaker of Lok Sabha, Campaign Against Hate Speech, Bahutva Karnataka, All India Lawyers Association for Justice and People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Karnataka have sought her disqualification as a member of the lower house of the Parliament.

On December 25, Thakur, while speaking  at Hindu Jagarana Vedike’s South Region annual conference in Shivamogga, among other things said, “Keep weapons in your homes, if nothing else, at least keep the knives used to cut vegetables, sharp. I am speaking clearly. In our homes as well knives should be sharp. They Killed our Harsha with a knife. They have stabbed our bravehearts, workers of Bajrang Dal, of BJP and workers of Yuva Morcha. So we should also keep our knives sharp as we don’t know when the situation will arise. When our vegetables are cut properly, then our enemies’ heads will also get cut properly”. She also said Hindus should “answer those involved in love jihad the same way”.

Thakur is an MP from the Bhopal constituency, Madhya Pradesh and also is accused in the Malegaon blast of September 2008 where 6 were killed and over a 100 injured. An FIR was filed against her at the instance of HS Sundresh, the President of Shivamogga District Congress Committee under the IPC sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups), 153B (Imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration), 268 (Public nuisance), 295A (Outraging religious sentiments), 298 (deliberate intention of wounding the religious feelings of any person), 504 (Intentionally insulting a person) and 508 (inducing person to believe that he will be rendered an object of the Divine displeasure). A complaint was also filed by Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), Mumbai with the DGP, Karnataka and the SP of Shivamogga seeking stringent action against her.

The letter states that Thakur violated settled norms of international law which governs all nations, namely the prohibition against the incitement to genocide. It further states that “By inciting  hatred against members of one religious community she has laid the ground work for the call to genocide to become the future crime of genocide.”

The letter also points out that a Member of Parliament takes an oath to ‘bear true faith and allegiance to the constitution’ it is premised on a fundamental respect that all India’s diverse peoples and communities are entitled to the right to life, liberty and dignity. Further emphasizing on how Thakur has belied her oath, the letter states:

“When a Member of Parliament  asserts that one faith community is not so entitled, it is a fundamental violation of the very ‘idea of India’ premised as it is on the peaceful coexistence of the diverse and plural traditions of India. She undermines the constitutional promise of  fraternity and the premise of constitutional morality and the unity and integrity of India.  In short the member of parliament has declared that she does not accept any of the  fundamental premises  underlying the Indian Constitution, be it the sanctity the right to life of entire groups of people, the promise of fraternity or the importance of constitutional morality.”

They also state that the oath is not a mere obligation but is a constitutional responsibility which binds a person solemnly to the values of the Constitution and thus urges the Speaker to disqualify her as per the Rules of Procedures and Code of Conduct of the Lok Sabha.


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