AA Edit | Hate talk: Tough line welcome

The incidents of hate speeches targeting a particular community across the country are unacceptable

There is only so much pep talks can do when people are faced with life and death situations but they have their space, nonetheless. The tough stand the Supreme Court has taken while asking the states of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh to explain the steps they have taken to stop the repeat of hate speeches in religious congregations, and the representation made by more than a hundred people who used to be part of the upper echelons of our bureaucracy to the Prime Minister seeking a an end to the politics of hate, belong to this genre. They will hopefully help lift the spirit of the people who have started developing doubts about the sustenance of our nation as a multi-cultural society which thrives on the strength of its diversity.

For its part, the Supreme Court minced no words. The incidents of hate speeches targeting a particular community across the country are unacceptable; it’s the job of the state governments to ensure that the guidelines on preventive measures the court has issued are being applied and that the governments are not doing a favour when they abide by the court orders. The court was forced to tread an unusual path in the wake of the Dharam Sansad, where a person known for his vituperative communal outbursts, scheduled to begin in Roorkee on Wednesday. The Uttarakhand government looks like having got the message the apex court was sending across, and has withdrawn the permission granted for the meet.

It is not very difficult to assume the spin doctors of the haters community would attribute to the court’s observations and the government’s action. They could play the victim game, that the “secular” Constitution and its institutions have denied them the right to speak their mind. But that’s fine. Let them, and their masters, be upfront about their acts and their intentions. Democracy is about the right to go wrong as well if it comes to that.

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