Monday, September 26, 2022

Rights activists request CJ to rein in Bandi Sanjay

  • Disqualify Sanjay from Membership of Parliament for hate speech
  • 50 activists write to Chief Justice of Telangana to restrain media

Hyderabad, May 28: The Chief Justice of Telangana High Court was urged by 50 rights activists to come forward to protect the people of the State from communal trouble sought to be created by politicians such as Bandi Sanjay. In a letter written to the Chief Justice the activists referred to the communal statements made by Sanjay. He called for digging up the mosques to find out if the dead bodies  or Shiv lings are there underneath. If the dead bodies are found the Masjid would have right on the property and if Shiv lings are found it would go to Hindu temple. Sanjay is used to making this type of inflammatory hate speeches and he should be disqualified from the elected office of Member of Parliament.   He should be punished under IPC 153, 298 and 295A. Politicians like Sanjay are repeat offenders and they should be stopped in their track.

The signatories said Telangana had a relative respite from inter-religious conflicts for the last two decades except an incident in 2013 and requested the Chief Justice to take measures to protect the people. They also requested the CJ to give restraining orders to the media-print media, broadcast media and internet media. The signatories were led by Prof. Padmaja Shaw, Prof. Rama Melkote, Khaleeda Parveen, Asfar Jahan and Aisha Farooqui. Many well known human rights and women rights activists are there among the signatories. The following is the letter:

Justice Satish Chandra Sharma

To

The Hon’ble Chief Justice of Telangana,

High Court of Telangana

Hyderabad

                                                                                                28th of May, 2022

Respected Hon’ble Chief Justice,

It is with great alarm and dismay that we the undersigned are writing to you with a prayer to take suo-moto cognisance of the instances of hate speech, threats to language and culture in addition to religion, and repeated abetment to violence being indulged in by some politicians in Telangana, both in the districts and in Hyderabad city.

Some instances are given here from the latest statements by the Member of Parliament Bandi Sanjay to “dig up all mosques to look for dead bodies or Shivlings, to claim the ownership of land”

The link to the video is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eh9b8SixTQ0

Link to news story: https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/dig-mosques-telangana-hand-them-over-if-shiva-linga-found-bandi-sanjay-164381

This is only the latest of the incendiary statements by Bandi Sanjay over the last several months to polarise communities and to spread hate in the run up to the elections for the assembly of Telangana State. He has vowed to whip up communal hatred publicly earlier

(link: https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/telangana/2021/aug/31/well-spew-hatred-if-they-pander-to-muslims-telangana-bjp-president-bandi-sanjay-kumar-2352066.html) assuming that he has political immunity when he indulges in such hate speech.

Bandi Sanjay also has threatened Urdu language that many people in Telangana are connoisseurs of, by fallaciously associating it with Islam, and therefore threatening to ban it. This is deeply hurtful for those of us who speak, hear and enjoy the beauty of the Urdu language, and its Deccani variation that is a part of our Telangana identity.

(Link: https://zeenews.india.com/india/we-will-completely-ban-urdu-language-if-rama-rajya-comes-telangana-bjp-chief-bandi-sanjay-kumar-2467400.html )

These statements are clearly aimed at promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious, linguistic and cultural feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs, uttering words etc with deliberate intention of wounding the religious feelings. They are punishable under several IPC sections like 153A, 298, 295A. Such statements also are covered under the reasonable restrictions to free speech.

Politicians like Bandi Sanjay are repeat offenders and they need to be restrained from such socially disruptive and provocative activities. They are laying the ground for a politically poisonous atmosphere that can flare up into major conflicts with a small spark of a local incident leading to loss of life and property.

In the context of the ban on RSS, in September 1948, in a letter to MS Golwalkar, India’s the then Home Minister Sardar Patel wrote:

“Organising the Hindus and helping them is one thing but going in for revenge for its sufferings on innocent and helpless men, women and children is quite another thing … apart from this, … disregarding all considerations of personality, decay of decorum, created a kind of unrest among the people. All their speeches were fill of communal poison. It was not necessary to spread poison in order to enthuse the Hindus and organise for their protection. As a final result of the poison, the country had to suffer the sacrifice of the invaluable life of Gandhiji.” The present state of political discourse is similar with open and vicious abuse of minorities and targeted acts of unspeakable violence like lynching, attacks on religious places like mosques, and historical structures of Islamic period in history.

The Chapter III, Section 125 of the Representation of People’s Act says that it is an electoral offence to:

125. Promoting enmity between classes in connection with election.—Any person who in connection with an election under this Act promotes or attempts to promote on grounds of religion, race, caste, community or language, feelings of enmity or hatred, between different classes of the citizens of India shall be punishable, with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.

If the Representation of People’s Act considers seeking votes by “promoting or attempts to promote on grounds of religion, race, caste, community or language, feelings of enmity or hatred, between different classes of the citizens of India shall be punishable”, can the law of the land allow such behaviour to continue after the candidate is successfully elected?

In view of the above information we request you to pass orders on the following:

Recommend disqualification of Bandi Sanjay from his elected position of Member of Parliament as he has repeatedly committed the offence of promoting enmity among Hindus, Muslims and Christians publicly through widely reported events. Such an individual cannot be continuing as a people’s representative.

Convict him for offences deliberately and repeatedly committed, under several IPC sections like 153A, 298, 295A.

Pass restraining orders to the media – print media, broadcast media, internet channels – from providing amplification and publicity to hate speech and divisive speech by Bandi Sanjay and other such politicians. As per the Broadcasting Code in India, attack on religions is specifically prohibited but this continues unabated on national, state and regional broadcasts. We request you to pass restraining orders against such broadcasts and other media representations, including the media transmitted through internet and mobile phones.

Telangana state has seen a relative respite from inter-religious conflict for over two decades, except for an incident in 2013. We, as peace-loving citizens would like to preserve this atmosphere of amity prevailing in the state. We are appealing to you urgently now as this situation is expected to escalate as the state assembly elections draw closer.

We look with great hope towards the honourable High Court of the Telangana State to be in the forefront to protect the citizens’ right to life, livelihoods, safety, and peaceful co-existence in the state.

Hope the honourable High Court considers this letter as a petition in public interest from concerned citizens and provides us relief.

1.     Padmaja Shaw, Rtd Professor, Osmania University, 9348610948

2.     Rama Melkote, Rtd Professor, Osmania University, 9912021778

3.     Khalida Parveen, Amoomat Society, 9700109083

4.     Afsar Jahan, Advocate

5.     Aisha Farooqui, Rtd Professor, Osmania University

6.     Ali Asghar, ASEEM

7.     Ambica, Aman Vedika

8.     Deepthi, Dalit Women’s Collective

9.     Farzana Khan, Human Rights activist

10.  Imran Siddiqui, Environmental and Tribal Rights activist

11.  Jasveen Jairath, Environmental activist

12.  Jeevan Kumar, Human Rights Forum

13.  Jhansi Geddam, Dalit Stree Shakthi

14.  Kaneez Fatima, Civil Rights activist

15.  Khalid Rasool Khan, Social activist

16.  Khatija Khan, Social activist

17.  Lissy Joseph, Telangana Domestic Workers’ Union

18.  MA Nayeem, Social activist

19.  Major SGM Quadri, Rtd., Social Initiatives for Legal Remedies

20.  Maria Tabassum, Madina Group of Institutions

21.  Mazher Hussain, COVA

22.  Meera Sanghamitra, NAPM

23.  Mirza Mohammad Hussain, Social activist

24.  Mohammad Tajuddin, Advocate

25.  Noorjahan, Social activist

26.  P Shankar, Dalit Rights Activist

27.  Qudsia Tabassum, Advocate

28.  R Venkat Reddy, Samajika Karyakarthala Vedika

29.  Ravi Kannegannti, Rythu Swarajya Vedika

30.  Rubina Nafees, Social Activist

31.  S Ashalatha, MAKAAM

32.  Saba Quadri, Help Hyderabad

33.  Sagar Dhara, Interfaith Milan

34.  Sajaya Kakarla, Women and Transgender Organizations JAC

35.  Samyukta Gorrepati, Social activist

36.  Sarah Matthews, Sankalp Women’s Support Alliance

37.  Satyavati Kondaveeti, Bhumika Collective

38.  Shakeel Ahmed, Advocate

39.  Sharifa Siddiqui, Counsellor

40.  SQ Masood, RTI activist

41.  Sudha Goparaju, Social activist

42.  Sujatha Surepally, Professor, Satavahana Universitty

43.  Susie Tharu, Rtd Professor, EFL University

44.  Syed Majid Shuttari, Social Activist

45.  Tashi Choedup, LGBTQ+ activist

46.  Varghese Theckanath, Religious Leaders for Social Change

47.  Varsha Bhargavi, WhereAreTheWomen

48.  Vemana Vasanta Lakshmi, Human Rights Forum

49.  Vimala Morthala, Poet and Writer

50.  VV Jyothi, Independent journalist

K. Ramachandra Murthy
K. Ramachandra Murthy
Founder & Editor

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