Delhi: Exactly, three months back when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was asked in the United States what steps he will take to improve the rights of Muslims in India? PM Modi India responded by saying that India is a democratic nation and democracy is in the DNA of both India and the US. Whether it is caste, creed and religion, our government does not discriminate on any such basis, he had asserted. But on September 21, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s Member of Parliament Ramesh Bidhuri, used hate speech against Kunwar Danish Ali inside the new parliament building and showed to the world that Indian Muslims are facing hate speech everywhere – right from the road to the parliament house.
BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri can be heard calling MP Danish Ali a “Bharwa (pimp),” “Katwa (circumcised),” “Mullah (slang used for Muslims)” “Atankwadi (Terrorist)” and “Ugrawadi (militant)” in the Sansad TV video (On Record,). During the Lok Sabha speech Ravi Shankar Prasad and Harsh Vardhan sitting next to him can be seen laughing. Bidhuri was speaking on the recent Moon mission by the ISRO.
Earlier, such slurs were used in social media by the BJP IT cell members against Muslims activists and journalists.
Hate speech inside parliament
Danish Ali wrote to Speaker Om Birla for action against Bidhuri.
However, even after BSP MP seeking action and widespread outrage after the video went viral, the only action the Speaker took was that he ordered the sponging of the words and warned Bidhuri not to repeat such language in future.
On Friday, when Kunwar Danish Ali was asked by NDTV reporter Saurabh Shukla about the hate speech used against him, a visibly upset MP just said, “I could not sleep the entire night…” He broke down and did not speak further to the reporter.
For the last two years, several hate speeches have been used against Muslims by right wing groups and Hindutva leaders. Some were arrested but later got bail. The Supreme Court also ordered the police to take suo moto cognizance in such speeches and register cases on their own.
But when a ruling party MP speaks inside the parliament, the police and judiciary do not have much of a role to play inside the ‘temple of democracy’.
A special parliament session was called as India got a new parliament building and during the session hate speech was used by the BJP MP to snub the minority leader.
On Friday evening, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi met Danish Ali at his residence in Delhi and expressed his solidarity with him. “Rahul Gandhi visited me to tell me I am not alone in this situation. All the opposition is with me. It is also not an attack on me alone, but on the Constitution of India and Indian democracy,” Danish Ali told media persons.