From VHP leader Praveen Togadia’s “response” to MIM leader Akbaruddin Owaisi’s hate speech, one gets the impression that politicians have no sense of national interest or concern. One wonders what kind of values the younger generation will imbibe from us. Are we going to teach them that violence in response to violence is justified? Mr. Togadia’s claim that the police stood aside on many occasions (including in Gujarat) is most worrying and has serious implications.
V. Sathyanarayan, Chennai
The right to freedom of speech and expression is a foundational human right. At the same time, it is also universally recognised that it is not an absolute right. Every democracy has in place some restrictions on the freedom of speech. Mr. Owaisi’s speech and Mr. Togadia’s response are reflective of excessive freedom.
Mohamed Ibrahim, Chennai
If the dangerous trend of countering hate speech with hate speech continues, India will soon lose the glory of remaining united despite the presence of many religions and tribes.
K.B. Aparna, Hyderabad
Mr. Togadia’s hate speech at Bhokar in the Nanded district of Maharashtra highlights the atrocities of the majority community on the minorities and confirms that none of the victims in the riots of Nellie, Bhagalpur, Moradabad, and Gujarat was a Hindu and that the police stood as silent spectators to the violence.
Indians killing Indians is a shame on the nation. The war of words and exchange of rhetoric has brought the truth to the surface, proving that nothing can destroy truth. Sure, Mr. Owaisi behaved in an immature manner. But the majority community should refrain from adding fuel to the fire. It is the responsibility of the minorities to respect the majority community and of the majority to protect the minorities.
M.Y. Shariff, Chennai
The self-proclaimed protectors of Hindus do not understand that the present generation is not interested in the politics of hate and violence.
A.P. Viswanathan, Chennai