A manifesto against hate—vote for the party which takes up these demands
There is a disturbing silence from the political opposition, and major sections of intelligentsia and civil society on the question on increasing hate, bigotry, divisiveness, and targeted killings, lynchings, communal violence, and dehumanisation against Muslims, Christians and Dalits.
On the survival and security concerns of religious minorities, it seems to have a consensus not to speak among majority of those who claim to fight in defence of the constitution, democracy, social justice and secularism.
We observed different manifesto making processes, and found that in the name of inclusion the inadequate token representation with restrictive and exclusionary space was given – while neglecting the emerging concerns from religious minorities.
It compelled us to write a manifesto with practical suggestions to address the ‘not spoken issues’ of our times for the new untouchables of the country.
I along with some friends drafted the ‘Manifesto against Hate’ on behalf of United Against Hate, a citizen’s group which has emerged as a rapid response team to hate crimes in the country.
We identified a set of demands related to incitement of violence, hate mongering and hate crimes and included them in the manifesto.
- Order proper investigation of existing cases of mob lynching
- Constitute an independent high-powered judicial tribunal on hate crimes, lynchings and targeted attacks on minorities (like, National Green Tribunal and Armed Forces Tribunal)
- Constitute an independent high-powered judicial tribunal on alleged Police encounters (like, National Green Tribunal and Armed Forces Tribunal)
- Pass the Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill on priority basis
- Frame law on lynching and implement SC guidelines on the same
- Abolish all draconian laws (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), National Security Act (NSA), and Sedition Laws
- Accord constitutional body status to National Human Rights Commission and National Commission for Minorities.
- Scrap Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016
- Frame Religious Minorities (Prevention of Atrocities) Act
- Draft a strong anti-discrimination law to counter dominant or majoritarian bias
- Make all intelligence agencies accountable to Parliament of India
We released this on 4 March 2019 at Press Club of India, New Delhi. And we appealed to all political parties who are opposed to fascist politics “to include these demands in their election manifesto and also to actively work on them once they come to power in May 2019.”
The struggle is collective. Our elites in the opposition political parties, intelligentsia and civil society need to understand that they can’t reclaim and defend the republic alone, pushing us behind!
We believe in rights politics enshrined in our constitution – nothing for us, without us!
I request you to please read Manifesto against Hate, share this with others, and help us for its inclusion in manifestos of political parties and post-election effective implementation of the demands.
Ovais Sultan Khan is a Delhi-based Human rights, justice and peace activist