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Judiciary bends, yet again, in fear of the Muslim street veto should they get offended: Here is how

The road to hell is paved with good intentions, it is said. The Supreme Court's order, while passed with good intentions, pushes Hindus closer to hell, where they are raped, murdered, beheaded and humiliated on a daily basis by an intolerant minority and are persecuted further when they dare to talk about their persecution.

The Supreme Court of India on the 3rd of February, with good intentions, ended up muzzling free speech, making it mandatory for the Maharashtra Police to use sweeping, discretionary and arbitrary powers to preemptively spare the Muslim community’s fragile feelings and exposed the mythical secularism they claim to uphold on a regular basis.

On the 3rd of February, the Supreme Court rejected a petition seeking a ban on the ‘Hindu Jan Akrosh Sabha’ in Mumbai on Monday, February 5. A petitioner named Shaheen Abdullah had approached the court seeking to ban the rally by Sakal Hindu Samaj, alleging that anti-Muslim hate speeches were made during the ‘Hindu Jan Aakrosh Morcha‘ in Mumbai on January 29.

However, while refusing to ban the rally to be held on the 5th of February, a bench comprising Justices KM Joseph and JB Pardiwala demanded that certain conditions be met.

  1. The rally would be videographed and the tape submitted to the court.
  2. Directing that it would be the “duty” of the police to invoke Section 151 of the CrPc.
  3. Put a condition that no hate speech shall be made at the rally

Interestingly, the petitioner, Shaheen Abdullah, was represented by the notorious Kapil Sibal, who often takes cases that categorically go against Hindu interests. It was Sibal who insisted that the event be videographed and the footage submitted to the court. He also insisted on Maharashtra Police being directed to invoke Section 151 if they see the necessity for it. While Solicitor General representing Maharashtra govt vehemently opposed this petition and the submissions by Sibal, the court conceded.

“We also direct that the officers, in case permission is granted and in case the occasion arises for invoking power under Section 151, it shall be the duty of the officers concerned to invoke the mandate of Section 151,” the Court said in its order. Accepting Sibal’s insistence that the meeting be videotaped and a report submitted to the Court, the bench issued a directive to the area’s police inspector to that effect. The video’s contents must be made available to the Court.

SG Tushar Mehta pointed out that the petitioner, in this case, was a resident of Kerala and that he had no locus standi particularly to bring a petition to the Supreme Court against an event that. was to be held in Maharashtra, calling it an abuse of the court.

Given that according to the Bar and Bench tweet, SG said that getting the speech vetted before it is spoken may not be possible, one can assume that this request was either made by Kapil Sibal or the court itself had enquired whether the speeches can be vetted. We would never know since the law platform has not tweeted that portion of the court exchange.

Regardless, in this entire case and in the order that has been passed by the Supreme Court, it is apparent that the Kerala petitioner, his lawyer Kapil Sibal and the Supreme Court bench were extremely concerned about the speech by Hindu leaders hurting the fragile sentiments of the Muslim community.

To understand just how problematic the said order was, we must analyse each condition that was enforced by the court.

Firstly, one must understand that in the Indian constitution or the IPC, there is no set definition of hate speech. Essentially, hate speech is what hurts the sentiments of a community and given that the Muslim community is perpetually hurt and issues death threats even for quoting from their own Hadiths, one has to wonder if speeches were to ensure that Muslims are never hurt, would Hindus be able to say anything at all. Be that as it may, the court asked Hindu leaders to not indulge in any hate speech when the event would be held. What the contours of that speech would be, what would constitute hate speech, and what are the no-go zones that they believe would constitute hate speech was not elaborated upon.

Essentially, since the Jan Aakrosh Yatra was to be held to protest against the atrocities committed by Islamists against Hindus, one is to assume that leaders would talk about Islamist supremacy and the religiously motivated crimes that take place against Hindus on a regular basis. Now, would the Supreme Court consider this “hate speech”? One does not know. That would depend on the sensibilities of the honourable judges – something we cannot predict one way or another.

Further, the court assumed the role of the sole arbiter of what can or cannot be said in the public domain by Hindu leaders. It also assumed the role of being the sole arbiter of how Hindu leaders choose to express their angst against Hindu women being murdered, and raped and Hindus, in general, being vilified and hounded by the Islamists. As I write this, OpIndia is documenting how Muslims in Jharkhand have pelted stones against Hindus just because they were preparing to celebrate Mahashivratri. In fact, the very day that this order was passed by the Supreme Court, one Wajid attacked and forced a minor Hindu girl to marry him. Had also attacked her brother and threatened abduction. The very day that this order was passed, an FIR was lodged in Gwalior against SP leaders desecrating and abusing the Ramcharitmanas. None of this moves the judiciary, however, any speech made against this blatant hate against Hindus could be considered hate speech because the Muslim community would be “hurt”, and we all know what happens when their feelings are hurt.

The court did not just stop there. They even ordered that the police MUST invoke Section 151 of CrPc. Section 151 provides the police with the authority to arrest people to prevent cognizable offences against the organizers in light of the previous meeting’s occurrences. Essentially, the court asked the police to arrest anyone they think “might” make a hate speech in light of the Jan Aakrosh Yatra that was held on the 29th of January 2023. Essentially, the police were required to make preemptive arrests on the assumption that an individual may deliver a hate speech that in turn might end up hurting the Muslim community (who then might end up displaying their street power – the court did not say this, of course, but that is just how it is).

One has to concede that the court issued this order with the utmost good intentions. Anything that hurts law and order has to be monitored and curbed. However, there is one basic flaw – what hurts law and order? The speech of Hindus who are being persecuted or the actions of intolerant mobs that go on a rampage every time their fragile feelings are hurt? In the case of Nupur Sharma, it was the same Justice Pardiwalla who was part of a bench that passed distasteful comments when they were approached to club FIRs filed against her, given the threat to life she faced. The bench then held Nupur Sharma responsible for Islamists beheading Kanhaiya Lal and called her a woman with a ‘loose tongue’. Nupur Sharma had said what is written in the Hadiths in response to a Muslim panellist insulting Lord Shiv. What the Muslim panellist said was forgotten and what Nupur Sharma said was considered hate speech – not because it was, but because the Muslim hordes took to the streets, and indulged in riots and murder.

Essentially, what will be considered hate speech is only the speech that leads to street veto, which is often enforced by the Muslim community. Therefore, only speech by Hindus would, by extension, would be considered hate speech because it is only the speech by Hindus that would offend the community that enforces its street veto every now and then.

By mollycoddling an intolerant minority and shielding them from speech that hurts their sentiment (basically all speech – even factual retelling of their own atrocities against Hindus), the Supreme Court has set a dangerous precedent, taking one step further in legitimising the demand for a law that specifically protects only the Muslim community from their sentiments getting hurt. Further, it only sets boundaries to freedom of speech, specifically for the Hindus, who would be one step close to being barred from even talking about their own persecution.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions, it is said. The Supreme Court’s order, while passed with good intentions, pushes Hindus closer to hell, where they are raped, murdered, beheaded and humiliated on a daily basis by an intolerant minority and are persecuted further when they dare to talk about their persecution.

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