Unchecked Hate Speech Sparks Concerns for communal Harmony in Himachal Pradesh

Communal sentiments are roused in Himachal Pradesh as Hindu Jagran Manch's Kamal Gautam makes incendiary statements in yet another incident of hate speech.

Cries of ‘Islamic Jihad Murdabad’ rang through with a furore as n Kamal Gautam, a prominent leader of the Hindu Janjagran Manch, delivered a hate speech targeting Muslims in Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh. During a public gathering, Gautam used derogatory language against minorities and made threats of violence, raising concerns about communal harmony in the region.

Addressing the crowd, Gautam made statements such as, “Bharat mein agar rehna hoga, Jai Sri Raam Kehna Hoga” (If you wish to stay in India, you have to say Jai Shri Raam) and “Islamic Jihad Murdabad” (Death to Islamic Jihad). Not only propagating hate but also seemingly deploying threats towards religious minorities.

Furthermore, Gautam specifically dived into the alleged bogey of “Love Jihad,” claiming that Himachal’s young girls were becoming targets of such activities. He accused those providing shelter to what he derogatorily referred to as “Kathmulle” (slur) and ‘Jamaats’ of engaging in actions that would not be tolerated by the Hindu community. He ominously stated that these actions would be responded to in the only way “they” understand, implying a potential recourse to violence.

There seems to be no evidence of actions by authorities against Gautam thus far. It remains to be seen whether legal action will be taken against Kamal Gautam for his hate speech, as hate speech laws in India prohibit statements that promote enmity between different religious or ethnic groups.

Earlier Sabrang India has noted that India has been classified as an ‘electoral autocracy’, revealing the declining level democratic freedoms and social justice in India.

“No one must give shelter to these Jamaats from outside, and I will tell this to all of you clearly standing here today: you all standing here will decide who can enter or not enter your areas of residences and the roads and lanes in it, and not any SP or DP. I don’t need to tell you people what to do should a pig enter your fields and eat the produce or enter your homes. And let me tell you, should Islamic jihad Target any Hindu or harm any girl of ours, then the entire responsibility will be of the administration, and the Hindu society will endeavour to crumple and destroy Islamic jihad in its entirety.”

This is not the first incidence of communal behaviour by Kamal Gautam. In a troubling incident last year reported by SabrangIndia, a video circulated on social media platforms, particularly in Hindutva circles, depicting a mob vandalising a Muslim shrine or Dargah. The individuals involved in the act claimed to be affiliated with the Hindu Jagran Manch (HJM) Himachal, as stated by Kamal Gautam, who posted the video on his Facebook page.

Source: Meer Faisal

The video showcases individuals wielding massive hammers to break the grave and shrine within the Muslim place of worship. Alongside the video, Kamal Gautam wrote, “देवभूमि में लैंड़ जे हाद बर्दाश्त नहीं किया जायेगा… हर अवैध ढांचा जो भूमि कब्जाने की मंशा से पीर मजार के नाम पर बनाया गया है उसका अंजाम यही होगा। Hindu Jagran Manch Himachal का इस्लामिक जेहाद के विरुद्ध अभियान जारी रहेगा।”


“Land Jihad will not be allowed on the land of the gods. All illegal structures that have been raised as holy graves will meet the same fate. Hindu Jagran Manch will continue this project.”

Kamal Gautam is the general secretary of the Hindu Jagran Manch in Himachal Pradesh. He has known to make incendiary speeches and claims in the past. His social media is rife with support for the PM Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party, as well as with posts that have a pronounced anti-Muslim tilt.


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