Cease Funding Hate Speech: IIBM Faculty Urges Corporate India

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The alarming rise of hate crime in the country has attracted India’s criticism from international rights groups as well as individuals, with mostly holding the ‘dog whistle’ politics of the current dispensation responsible for it.

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI — A section of faculty members from Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIMB) has urged the “corporate India to de-fund hate speech” while flagging the “possibility of large-scale violence and genocide” due to the increasing radicalization of citizens.

In an open letter, the current and retired faculty members highlight that the politics of hatred is causing irreparable damage to the country’s social fabric. The letter written in “personal capacity” underlines that the leaders of “corporate India have an important and substantial role to play in curbing the spread of hate and misinformation.”

Deepak Malghan, associate professor of Public Policy at IIMB, posted the letter last month, has sought the support of the corporate houses in order to safeguard the spirit of justice, equality and fraternity enshrined in the Constitution. The letter calls upon the corporate houses to use their voice to “rise up against hate” and stand up to preserve India’s plurality. The letter has 17 signatories, six of whom are retired professors.

“(W)e would like to believe that the risk of large-scale violent conflicts or genocide in India is still small. However, this risk is no longer close to zero, as the rapidly increasing levels of radicalization of citizens are fermenting an atmosphere conducive to large-scale violence being triggered due to unexpected disturbances. “…it is certain that the deteriorating social fabric in the country, due to increasing hate and dehumanising speech and radicalization, shall inevitably lead to escalating violence and socioeconomic uncertainty, permanently paralysing the future of the country,” the letter further states.

The alarming rise of hate crime in the country has attracted India’s criticism from international rights groups as well as individuals, with mostly holding the ‘dog whistle’ politics of the current dispensation responsible for it. Concerns were also raised about the impunity enjoyed by the right-wing zealots. Notably, Muslim and Christian communities are the primary target of such attacks. Last year, the U.S. Department’s Religious Freedom Report highlighted “concerning instances of religious persecution” in India and called out several countries including India, China, Russia, and Iran for “violations of explicitly targeting members of certain faith communities”.

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