Hate Crime: A threat to Secular India
Volume III, Issue III, 2020
The term “Secularism” as mentioned in the Indian constitution is an integral part of the country and the freedom of religion is a fundamental right provided to each and every citizen of India. We Indians, consider religion to be an important aspect of our lives. Not only our Country’s constitution but other state laws too, talks about protection and upholding of a person’s religious belief. In a country like India, Religion has always been considered as a very crucial and sensitive topic in fact to such an extent that India is considered as one of the most religious country in the world having a religious and divine culture dating to the early ages. But then again with every rose comes a thorn and religion wasn’t spared too and soon enough hate crimes and other violence followed suit. Violence in the name of religion has become a daily activity for suppressing minorities and hate crimes have increased by a huge extent. The word hate crime might be a simple English word but its effects are deeper and wider ranging than those of other serious crimes such as murders and assault. Its impact leaves an everlasting dent not only on the immediate victim but also on the community with which the victim identifies hence affecting social cohesion and stability. This paper concentrates on the crimes committed in the name of religion. More specifically, the first half of the paper discusses the concept and scope of hate crimes and its religious aspect and lays out an extensive timeline of the evolution of hate crimes in India post-independence and the latter half talks about the current scenario in India along with case studies.