Is India still a democracy? Opposition leaders slam 'hate speech conclave'

Haridwar conclave
A screengrab from a conclave held at Haridwar. Photo: Twitter/ @zoo_bear

New Delhi: Several Opposition leaders, including those from the Congress and the TMC, on Thursday condemned what they said was a "hate speech conclave" held in Haridwar recently and called for strict action against those involved.

All-India Trinamool Congress national spokesman Saket Gokhale demanded immediate action against the organisers and speakers of the Dharma Sansad held recently in Haridwar, where "hate speeches" were allegedly made against Muslims.

Gokhale lodged a complaint in this connection at the Jwalapur police station in Haridwar district, asking the Station House Officer to register an FIR within 24 hours.

At the event, several speakers allegedly made inflammatory and provocative speeches, calling for the killing of people from the minority community.

Held at Ved Niketan Dham in Haridwar from December 17-20, the Dharma Sansad was organised by Yati Narasimhanand Giri of the Juna Akhada, who is already under police scanner for making hate speeches and inciting violence against Muslims.

Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind chief Maulana Mahmood Madani wrote a letter to Home Minister Amit Shah, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, the National Human Rights Commission and the National Commission for Minorities, over the remarks made at the Haridwar meet, calling on them to take cognizance of the matter and prosecute the perpetrators.

Madani said, "They have posed threat to the peace and communal harmony of the country".

"I demand strong actions must be taken against organizers and speakers, he said.

The All India Professionals Congress also condemned in the strongest possible terms the "genocidal statements made by Hindutva leaders" in the "hate speech conclave" organised in the holy city of Haridwar.

Will the Union of India and other institutions remain mute spectators, the Congress wing for professionals asked.

Reacting to the remarks at the Haridwar meet, senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said, "This is bloodcurdling stuff. Is it too much to expect. @CMuttarakhand to take action under the existing hate-speech laws?"

Congress MP Karti Chidambaram said on Twitter, "Narsinghanand Organises 3-Day Hate Speech Conclave in Haridwar... are the Faux Hindutva Nazis planning an holocaust? Will the Union of India & its institutions be a blind/mute spectator?"

Congress spokesperson Shama Mohammed said Munawar Faruqui has been relentlessly punished for alleged jokes which he didn't even crack, but there is no action against the 'Dharm Sansad' members who openly called for "genocide against Muslims in Haridwar!".
"Is India still a democracy!" she said.

Kishenganj MP of the Congress Mohammad Jawaid tweeted, "Appalled by the nature of the assembly and hate speech propagated openly in Haridwar. Such events are destroying the secular ethos of India."

He urged Home Minister Amit Shah to take serious and urgent action against the people who were involved in the "implied calls for genocide of Muslims".

Chhattisgarh minister and senior party leader T S Singhdeo said India's traditional value is -- 'Vasudhaiv Kutumbhkam - World is a Family'.

"Our Constitutional value is Secularism - Respect for all religions. Our primary Fundamental Right is Right to equality. Such bigoted thoughts & assemblies are against the foundation of India. This is criminal!" he said reacting to the remarks made at the meet.

Gaurav Pandhi, a Congress functionary, said that in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "'New India', sponsored by Ambani & Adani, Comedians are prevented from making people laugh but Hindutwavadis are allowed to give hate speeches, calling for genocide and armed revolt against the nation".

"In Haridwar, a group of Hindutvawadis gathered giving a call for armed violence against Muslims, former PM Dr Manmohan Singh & armed revolt against India. They stressed on CREATING TERRORISTS. Meanwhile, the police, govt agencies, Modi, Amit Shah & Dalal media are fast asleep!" he said.

Congress leader Salman Soz said, "Dear Supreme Court of India: #UmarKhalid is in jail for God knows why. Meanwhile, in Haridwar, Hindutva extremists call for Muslim genocide, record it on camera and throw it in our faces."

"Is this the justice you are supposed to uphold? Act now," he said.

CPI(M), from its official Twitter handle said, "Munawar Faruqui has been relentlessly punished for alleged jokes which he didn't even crack, but there is no action against the 'Dharm Sansad' members who openly called for genocide against Muslims in Haridwar! Is India still a democracy!".

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.