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Kanhaiya Lal’s Killing Is a New Low in India’s Battle Against Hate Crime

Yeh Jo India Hai Na, here, hater mongers and hate criminals are easy to find.

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Video Producer: Mayank Chawla

Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma

Yeh Jo India Hai Na, it is shaken and shocked by the horrible beheading of Kanhaiya Lal in Udaipur. It was a pre-meditated killing, committed in cold blood, filmed, and then shared on social media so that it could strike fear and terror in those who saw it or heard of it.

It is a new low in India’s battle against hate crime and hate speech – a battle that the country is losing right now, unless all of us resolve to fight hate in the way that it should be dealt with, without fear or favour, with zero tolerance for all forms of hate.

The Quint and most other news media outlets have correctly chosen not to show the video, as it would be triggering and just fan more hate, which was the intention of the two killers. Also, many members of civil society have condemned the killings and appealed that we do not succumb to further hate and violence.

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Civil Society Members Condemned the Killing

Cricketer Irfan Pathan posted, "No matter which faith you follow. Hurting an innocent life is like hurting all humanity."

@DrGauravGarg4 posted, "People of all religions are condemning this. That’s the spirit of India."

@ArhamAliKhan13 said, "Akhlaq or Kanhaiya Lal, the cycle of hate must be put to an end. I appeal to all Indians, don’t become a part of this hate cycle."

Times of India cartoonist Sandeep Adhwaryu drew a caricature to show how we are regressing as human beings.

The Deewan of the Ajmer Dargah said that the Muslims of India will never allow a 'talibanisation' mindset to surface in India.

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Unfortunately, along with these sane voices, there is also a lot of hate circulating on social media. Not just anger over the killings, not just emotional calls for justice, which would be understandable, but also a vast amount of anti-Muslim hate and vitriol, which is once again feeding the cycle of hate, which, as we know, was the intent of Kanhaiya Lal’s killers and is the intent of India’s hate brigade that exists across all religions.

The question that we should be asking ourselves is: why do we lack the political will to act against all haters?

No Action Against Repeat Offender

Let’s return yet again to repeat offender Yati Narsinghanand. He gave a hate speech in Haridwar in December 2021, was arrested for a few days, and was released on bail. After that, he has made more hate speeches, openly called for violence against Muslims, and openly abused the Modi government. Those videos have gone viral, showing him in blatant breach of his bail conditions.

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Yet, he is a free man. There are also multiple videos of Sudarshan TV head Suresh Chavhanke administering oaths to large gatherings, oaths which openly include the threat of violence against Muslims. But he remains free as well, along with many members of India’s hate gang.

Another case of double standards that many are questioning is the arrest of journalist Mohammed Zubair versus not arresting BJP’s former national spokesperson Nupur Sharma.

Why has he been arrested for a 4-year-old satirical tweet, while Nupur Sharma’s hate speech against Prophet Mohammad has not led to any arrest? Unless we apply the law equally, the cycle of hate is likely to keep turning.

With the central and several state governments applying the law selectively, or often looking away when open threats of violence, threats to kill, and threats of rape are made, it’s not surprising that central and state police forces also often do nothing.

And this has happened even in Kanhaiya Lal’s case. On 17 June, 11 days before the murder, one of the alleged killers published a video indicating that he would commit the crime. But the police did not act, yet again.

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Yeh Jo India Hai Na, here, haters are not hard to find. In today’s India, they are not afraid of the law. They share their communal hate, they boast about their intent to commit violent crimes openly at ground events and on social media.

They are cheered, retweeted, and they have thousands of followers – all of this open to the scrutiny of the government and the police, which do little or nothing at all. Kanhaiya Lal's killing is deeply tragic. What is even more tragic is that it was needless.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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