By: Nihala Azeez
“Words are often sharper than weapons”
There is a saying that a swollen word and an abandoned weapon are the same and can never be recovered. In general, the media does a lot of good for us humans, the pros and cons depend on each person who handles the media. As the title suggests the media as a whole is not a poisonous seed and it depends on the individual.
Attacks and hatreds caused by online hate speech are increasing day by day around the world. If in the past tea shops were the center of hot news, today the crown belongs to social media. In this age, social media has become a platform for noxious writing and hateful conversations and debates. It has become a great challenge for the government to eradicate fake news and hate speeches that are being spread on social media. It is a sad fact that such hate speeches and fake news are not confined to online platforms but instead are eating away at a community as a whole. In 2019, a terrorist opened fire in two mosques that killed at least 49 worshippers and wounded dozens of others in Christchurch, New Zealand. In the aftermath of such a terror attack, there was a growing debate on the need for the government and community to work together to minimize the number of hate speeches playing on the online platform.
“Medias should be handled with due care”
Press, radio, television, social medias such platforms play a major role in shaping human life and society. In addition, the media plays a crucial role in influencing our thoughts and ideas. This changes the way everyone looks at things and approaches the problem over time. In that case, the use of media should be handled with a sense of responsibility. Above average, everyone spends most of their time on social media platforms like WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook. There is a lot of propaganda with news coming on such social media platforms. In this way , each person is responsible for the post they write. It is the development of such technology that enables us to keep abreast of what is happening around the world today. Today anything is available at our fingertips in seconds. Therefore, we need to be more prudent and conscious when using such online platforms. For example, if we sit in Maharashtra and post, the impact may be in Punjab or Nagaland. We will have to pay a bigger price than we think. Often such posts go beyond human limits and degrade badly. Without us knowing, there are a lot of people who rely on our posts like this. Today, even knowing about one's own home has become a must-see post on Instagram on Facebook. Social media has had such an impact on mankind.
Innocent people blindly believe such posts so that their very lives may be in danger. In this busy time, there is not even time to look at each other face to face and smile. The thought of being able to say anything to anyone at any time for cheap publicity has found a place in the veins of most people today. Nowadays, having a smartphone and internet of your own turns into a state where you can write and post whatever you want. So many of us have deteriorated so much today. The need has arisen to respond immediately to such incidents. A situation where you can tell anything to anyone by sitting in your own home has risen. This needs to be curbed, or it is a danger to humanity itself. Many gentlemen by day, sit within the four walls and spread the guilt, shortcomings and evil of others. There are those among us today who find happiness in it.
HATE SPEECH :TOXIC SEED
In the wake of a terrorist attack in London , a U.S. congressman wrote a Facebook post in which he called for the slaughter of “radicalized” Muslims. “Hunt them, identify them, and kill them,” declared U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins, a Louisiana Republican. “Kill them all. For the sake of all that is good and righteous. Kill them all.” Such posts cause hatred towards to that particular religion and towards those who practice, profess and propagate that religion. Some of the victims here are innocent people who know nothing in order to vent their hatred. It is the poor people of such religions who are not guilty of the crime of being crucified here. The wrongdoers must be punished, but what did the poor people, who knew nothing, do wrong?
Hate speech online has been linked to a global increase in violence toward minorities, including mass shootings, lynching and ethnic cleansing. Hate speech may be conveyed through text, image or sound. Most of the times they use slanderous or discriminatory language with reference to a person or a group on the basis of who they are in other words, based on their religion, ethnicity, nationality etc.
WHY THE KILLER HATE SPEECH IS SO TERRIBLE?
Rohit, a 15-year-old boy, drowned in a river on March 28 this year in Bela Dih village in Gopalganj district. The postmortem and FIR clearly stated that the cause of death was drowning, with no signs of injury. About 40 days later, a pro-BJP misinformation machine, ‘OPIndia’ and ‘KhabarTak’ published an article alleging that the child had been killed in a mosque as a ritual sacrifice by Muslims. Such posts and incidents were enough to create enough communal unrest in Gopalganj district. For example, during the 1984 anti-Sikh genocide, there were false rumors that Sikhs had poisoned water tanks in Delhi. Another different form of hate speech is the power of the visual. By posting a photo of a grieving family, you can make people feel good about yourself and stand behind you when you attack a community that has established itself as ‘responsible’. Words, nicknames, hateful phrases, casual racist comments - all have an impact, especially if those words are convincing to a lot of people.
HOW TO UPROOT THIS SEED OF EVIL?
Overall it is impossible to get rid of this evil practice but to some extent we can resist it. Governments often fail to take strong action against it. The villain there is whether it will be an encroachment on the freedom of speech and expression guaranteed by the Constitution under Article 19(a).However, with the help of the IPC, Criminal Code of Procedure, the Government of India has been able to resist the hit speech to some extent. We have a few solutions on hand to take.
· Grab the platforms responsible for hate speech.
Make responsible those online portals like ‘OPIndia’ and ‘Khabartak’which became stage for the spread of hate speech and fake news.
· Raise awareness about the problem.
Make everyone aware of the implications of this problem and its intensity and severity so that everyone can be made aware.
· Support people who are the target of hate speech.
With support we can make others aware so that we may be able not to carry out the conspiracy of those behind it.
· Increase the positive messages of endurance.
Pour as much positivity, good energy and good atmosphere as we can into others.
· Inform anti-hate organizations about the worst incidents you have ever seen
Many things that start out as game jokes can later lead to tragedy in a bigger sense. We have witnessed a lot of tragedy in the way of validating this. The hate speech that we once used to say in the US, Germany and France is now affecting us on a massive scale. Often such hate speeches ignite religious, racial, and ethnic riots. We have often seen a situation where even the most responsible politicians are arming themselves with online platforms that create speech for their party success and personal gain. In this way, human relations themselves become entangled. Instead of blood gushing in the veins of pride that we are the Indian people, today Hindu Muslims have become segregated and divided into sects because of such hate speeches. Such posts sow the seeds of racism and discrimination in the minds of ordinary people without even knowing it.
RELEVANT CASE LAWS
# In Swamyv. Kumara, it was held section 95 of the Code of Criminal Procedure gives the government the right to declare certain publications “forfeited” if the “publication appears to the State Government to contain any matter the publication of which is punishable under Section 124A or Section 153A or Section 153B or Section 292 or Section 293 or Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code”
# In 1990, the Kerala government banned the play Jesus Christ Superstar. In 1991, the Kerala High Court upheld the ban and observed that the script was against the basic tenets of the Christian faith and that the presentation of Jesus Christ in the play was "sacred and blasphemous". In April 2015, the Supreme Court overturned the ban and observed that Ban had survived its use.
# In March 2007, BV Sitaram, an editor, was arrested under sections 153A, 153B and 295 of the IPC for inciting religious hatred. He had written articles criticizing the public nudity of Digambara Jain monks.
Do not pick up the rope when you hear that the bull has calved. Analyze the news again and evaluate if there is any truth in it. Everyone has a duty, perform it as well. Make sure no one gets upset because of us. No one gains anything permanently through hate speech and fake news. Do not victimize poor people for their own personal gain and temporary enjoyment. Unity in diversity -May we always be able to proudly say that. Let the poisons like hate speech not be able to see the space between us. Be fully aware of the consequences of whatever you do. Let us work together to increase all prosperity and peace in the world, regardless of caste, religion, race etc. It is the responsibility and duty of each and every one of us as human beings to prevent such religiously hateful posts and mistakes. Strong action needs to be taken against such offenders. Together for the good of the world.
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