Hate speeches during election campaigns are made just to grab the headlines (“Modi in damage control mode,” April 23). The “punishment” awarded by the Election Commission to such offenders can hardly be called a deterrent. Merely registering an FIR has no meaning. We need to amend the law that will make hate speeches liable for heavier penalties such as a stiff fine, jail terms and immediate externment.
It is disappointing to read and hear about the increasing number of hate speeches in this election season. While earlier it was politicians like Mr. Owaisi who were criticised for peddling hate speech, we now have Giriraj Singh, Azam Khan and Pravin Togadia who are leading the field. The State needs to pass a law debarring such “leaders” from public life forever.
A person who himself was a master in sowing hatred through his words and deeds till the last general election has no moral right in restraining his leaders/allies from doing so. In fact Mr. Giriraj Singh and Mr. Togadia have only followed in the footsteps of Mr. Modi. The damage control exercise undertaken by the BJP is only half-hearted; if it was serious, it should have expelled Mr. Giriraj Singh. In its pursuit of Mission 272-plus, the BJP appears to consolidating its base of hardcore Hindu votes and then looking at other constituencies through the mirage of development and growth. Where is the good statesman who can provide good governance by upholding the principles of Raj Dharma even in adverse situations?