HomePoliticsModi’s speech in Aligarh is hate speech, when will the Election Commission and the court wake up?

Modi’s speech in Aligarh is hate speech, when will the Election Commission and the court wake up?

Modi’s speech in Aligarh is hate speech, when will the Election Commission and the court wake up?

Hash#ag News Bureau, April 23,2024

Following the initial phase of elections in the country, there has been a notable shift in Prime Minister Modi’s rhetoric. He has begun directly confronting Congress and Muslims. In Banswara, he criticized Congress on Sunday and referred to Muslims as infiltrators. Subsequently, his speech in Aligarh on Monday displayed an escalated tone compared to the previous day. Modi cautioned the public in Aligarh, stating, “I want to alert my fellow citizens. Congress and its allies have set their sights on your earnings and possessions.” He attributed a quote to the “Prince” of Congress, Rahul Gandhi, suggesting a potential scrutiny of personal finances under their governance. Modi emphasized the sanctity of possessions like gold, citing the protection they receive under the law. He warned against what he characterized as a scheme to confiscate such assets, likening it to Maoist and communist ideologies, which he claims have led to ruin in other nations and are now being pursued by the Congress Party and its allies in India.

Nevertheless, Modi’s targeting of Congress and Muslims appears to be disconnected from the content of the Congress manifesto. Nowhere in the manifesto does it mention the confiscation of Hindu properties, homes, businesses, or fields, nor does it propose seizing the gold belonging to Hindu women. Despite this absence in the manifesto, Modi continues to employ this rhetoric, leading him to label Rahul Gandhi and the Congress as Maoists.

During his address at an election rally in Banswara, Rajasthan, on Sunday, Prime Minister Modi alleged that the Congress manifesto proposes the redistribution of the “gold of mothers and sisters,” suggesting a preferential treatment for Muslims over national assets, a claim debunked by facts as former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh never made such a statement.

Concerns and complaints regarding Modi’s inflammatory rhetoric have been brought to the attention of the Election Commission. However, the Commission’s response has been silent. Despite the potential to issue a notice to Modi and address the matter promptly on Monday, the Commission appears inactive.

This raises questions about the definition of hate speech and the provisions outlined in the Model Code of Conduct (MCC). Is Modi’s rhetoric crossing the boundaries of the election code of conduct? Such inquiries have surfaced across the nation following Modi’s divisive speeches.

The Supreme Court has provided clear directives concerning hate speech, stating that if communal speech disrupts the peace in any area, the District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police will be held accountable and must promptly address such instances. Despite these guidelines, during elections, when hate speech peaks, the Election Commission remains silent. While the Model Code of Conduct lacks explicit provisions on hate speech, it prohibits politicians from actions that may exacerbate societal divides or foster animosity. Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar, in announcing the 2024 Lok Sabha election schedule on March 16, prohibited political parties from engaging in hate speech, making caste or religious appeals, criticizing personal lives, or disguising advertisements as news or on social media. However, there appears to be a discrepancy as Rajiv Kumar now seems indifferent to communal speeches made by Modi.

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