Hate Speech Needs to be Curbed, Feels Majority: Poll

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NEW DELHI — There seems to be no end to inflammatory, incendiary and provocative remarks made by extremists belonging to different communities in the country.

What started off as an alleged insult to Prophet Muhammad during a heated TV debate which sparked a big outage, Indians are now genuinely worried that hate speech is vitiating the atmosphere in the country.

This was revealed during a CVoter survey conducted across the nation on behalf of IANS to gauge public sentiments on the issue.

According to the survey, 86 per cent of the respondents overall were of the firm opinion that hate speech is indeed vitiating the atmosphere in the country. There seemed to be near unanimity of opinion amongst Indians spread across education, income and ethnic distinctions.

In virtually every single category, more than 80 per cent of the respondents were of the opinion that hate speech is vitiating the atmosphere.

However, Indians were not as unanimous in expressing their views about action being taken under law to curb hate speech.

Recently, the Delhi Police registered FIRs against at least 31 individuals, including politicians and journalists, for their alleged hate speech acts.

When asked if such action would prove effective in curbing the menace of hate speech, 55 per cent of the respondents overall agreed, while 45 per cent felt such actions were not enough.

There seemed to be a vast difference of opinion across age groups. While 42 per cent of those in the 18-24 age category agreed that such action will curb hate speech, more than 63 per cent of respondents above age 55 felt the same.

Similar differences could also be seen across educational, income and ethnic identities across the country. — IANS

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