Laws against hate speech in India

Definition of hate speech

Hate speech is an effort to marginalise individuals based on their membership in a group. Using expression that exposes the group to hatred, hate speech seeks to delegitimise group members in the eyes of the majority, reducing their social standing and acceptance within society. Hate speech, therefore, rises beyond causing distress to individual group members. It can have a societal impact. Hate speech lays the groundwork for later, broad attacks on vulnerable that can range from discrimination, to ostracism, segregation, deportation, violence and, in the most extreme cases, to genocide. Hate speech also impacts a protected group’s ability to respond to the substantive ideas under debate, thereby placing a serious barrier to their full participation in our democracy.

Laws prohibiting hate speeches in India:

Section 124A of Indian Penal Code, 1860 (hereinafter referred to as the ‘IPC’) makes sedition an offence punishable, i.e., when any person attempts to bring into hatred or contempt or attempts to excite disaffection towards the Government established by law. (See: Kedar Nath Singh v. State of Bihar, AIR 1962 SC 955) Continue reading “Laws against hate speech in India”