Dharam Sansad hate-speech: Hear it from the journalist who led to Yati Narsinghanand’s arrest

Qurban Ali is a senior journalist who filed a plea in Supreme Court against Dharm Sansad. | Picture: The Leaflet

Senior journalist Qurban Ali talks about his plea in Supreme Court against hate speech, his expectations and rising hate speech cases in India. 

Snobar | TwoCircles.net

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Yati Narsinghanand, who had organized a so-called Dharam Sansad in Haridwar where he, along with other self-styled religious leaders, made genocide call against Muslims, was arrested on January 7 after a senior journalist named Qurban Ali along with Anjana Prakash, a senior advocate and a former Patna judge moved Supreme Court against him. 

He was under arrest for more than a month and released on February 17 in two cases. First, for delivering hate speech against Muslims, and second, for making offensive and derogatory remarks against women. 

Haridwar Dharam Sansad was not its first attempt when he made genocidal remarks against Muslims, he has given many times before objectionable and inflammatory statements against Muslims. 

But, this time, he was arrested after the Supreme Court agreed to hear a plea seeking immediate action against him for giving hate speeches during the recent ‘Dharam Sansad’ in Haridwar and Delhi.

In this interview with TwoCircles.net, Qurban Ali, a senior journalist, narrates why he filed a plea in the Supreme Court against Haridwar ‘Dharam Sansad’, his expectations from the apex court, and as a journalist, he also narrates what he thinks are the reasons for rising cases of the hate speeches in India.

What was the purpose behind filing the plea in the Supreme Court?
A so-called Dharam Sansad was organised in Haridwar between December 17 and December 20, where several self-styled religious leaders including Narsinghanand, made the hate speeches to genocide against Muslims, and it was also said that they neither believe in the Constitution nor in the Rule of Law. 

After that, we felt that these efforts are being made to spread hatred in our country and the most dangerous thing about this Dharam Sansad was that it talked about Civil War and Genocide against a particular community.

After around 25 days of the event when no action was taken by the Supreme Court over a letter written by more than 100 lawyers of the Supreme Court of taking a suo moto cognizance of hate speeches made at a Dharam Sansad, I, along with former Patna judge and senior advocate Anjana Prakash filed a plea in the Supreme Court to take strict action against those who made the call for genocide against Muslims. 

So, our purpose behind filing this plea was to tell those who want to break and divide our country that we got independence after a long battle. Millions of people have made sacrifices to liberate our country. After that our Constitution was formed, according to which our country works today

This country runs by the rule of law and the Constitution, not by the hate mongers.

The Government may support such people, but we have full hope from the media, civil society, and the Supreme Court that they would listen to us. That is why we came to the Supreme Court against the hate speeches. We sincerely hope that the law will take its course. And those who want to damage our country will soon be behind bars.

India has seen a rise in hate speeches and crimes in the past few years. As a journalist, what do you think are the reasons for such a spike?
It is century-old propaganda whose root is Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) which was formed in 1925 and will complete its 100 years in 2025.

In 1923, before the formation of RSS, V.D Savarkar, then chief of the Hindu Mahasabha, wrote an essay named Hindutva, in which he formulated the two-nation theory. And in December 1924, Lala Lajpat Rai wrote a series of articles in the Tribune newspapers, where he talked about the division of the country.

It can be said that Savarkar and Rai were the real fathers of the two-nation theory.

And their guru M.S Galwalkar, second chief of the RSS, has also defined in his book – Way and Our Nationhood Defined, how will be the Hindu nation. And he has also said in his book that there is no place for minorities in India but they can live as second-class refugees. He also described Indian Muslims and Christians as ‘internal threats’ number one and two, respectively. He called democracy a concept of western culture.

So it can be said that this majoritarian communal agenda has been going on since 1925.

When the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), came to power in 2014 with an absolute majority, it said that now the time has come, when we should use our original plan of Hindutva and convert the nation into a Hindu Rashtra.

Earlier the members of this party used to talk about removing the Constitution but then decided to convert the country into a Hindu nation.

These people do not believe in the constitution and want the law of Manusmriti to be implemented in the country.

These people want the domination of Hindus and to make Muslims second-class citizens in this country and the proof of this is the Citizenship Amendment Act and the NRC.

Don’t you think going to the Supreme Court about rising hate speeches in the country exposes the failure of the executive to prevent such events or their lack of will?
Absolutely, it exposed the failure of the executive to prevent such events or their lack of will to take any action against those who called for genocide against the Muslims.

We waited for a long time for the government to take any action, but when the government did not take any action, we filed a petition against such hate speeches to the Supreme Court.

Neither did the police themselves take any action against the hate-mongers nor did they take any action on the complaint of the local people. And second thing is that when such cases happen, the Supreme Court take suo moto cognizance, but this time, SC did not take any suo moto cognizance.“

Was the Supreme Court not aware of the gravity of this hate speech? It is a shame for the nation. 

I don’t have any complaints with the ruling party because we all know that their main agenda is to make India a Hindu Rashtra. It has not even tried to hide its main motive from us, but I have a complaint with the opposition which calls itself committed to secularism.

The Congress party is not much different from the ruling party. For instance, Rahul Gandhi said in his party’s conference that we are against Hindutva, but we will bring Hindu Raj. What does it mean? 

We have given the idea of democracy and non-violence to the whole world. But today, constant efforts are being made to undermine our democracy.

Such speeches and the thought and politics behind them have somewhat changed the basic fabric of our society. Do you think there is a way to undo this damage?
The only way to stop the increasing damage of this country is that as soon as possible the people of this country, especially the majority, should understand the fact that no one can run our country by tempering its democracy and constitution.