Hate speech kills

Dear Editor,   
This refers to Daniel K Deb’s letter, ‘Election and violence’ (Readers’ Forum, 18 April).
Hate speeches kill harmony in a society. A few days ago, Prakash Lakra, a tribal man, was beaten to death, merely because he was cutting the flesh of a dead bull. This happened at Jurmi village in Jharkhand’s Gumla district. A group of people attacked Lakra and three of his friends over suspicion of slaughtering cattle. The attackers killed Prakash and thrashed his friends on the night of 10 April. DIG AV Homkar said that a group of people spotted the four persons cutting the flesh of a dead bull and started beating them.
The victims could not fathom what changed the mentality of the villagers, who had lived with them for generations.
The answer is undoubtedly blowing in the hate speeches. To stop the menace, the Supreme Court has taken the right step. Reacting sharply to the Election Commission’s of India’s (ECI) plea that it had limited powers to deal with hate speeches or politicians exploiting religious feelings for votes, the apex court directed that a representative of the ECI be present before it.
Within hours of the court’s rebuke, the ECI on Monday banned some politicians from campaigning for certain hours for delivering hate speeches. However, the commission must follow a single standard for all the politicians, irrespective of one’s position in the power ladder.
Sujit De,