Hate Crimes In India By Shadan Seraj At LEXCLIQ

Though the term “hate crime” is used across jurisdictions, disciplines, and contexts, it is perhaps surprising that there is no uniform understanding of the term. For this reason, scholars, policy makers, and legislators can often speak at odds when discussing the issue, even within practice silos. For some, a “hate crime” is a phenomenon that reaches across the spectrum of hostilities that are manifested towards minority communities generally, ranging from what (from a legal perspective) would be considered criminal acts, to discrimination, to hate speech, to micro-aggressions. For others, the term “hate crime” is a narrow construct applicable only in the context of criminal acts. Thus, the term has been described by Chakraborti and Garland as a “slippery and somewhat elusive notion whose conceptual and operational ambiguity raises thorny questions” for those charged with responding to it (2010).

What Leads to Hate Crimes?
Hate crimes are an extreme form of prejudice, made more likely in the context of social and political change. Public and political discourse may devalue members of unfamiliar groups and offenders may feel that their livelihood or way of life is threatened by demographic changes. Offenders may not be motivated by hate, but rather by fear, ignorance or anger. These can lead to dehumanization of unfamiliar groups and to targeted aggression.

Four major reasons for committing hate crime
Thrill Seeking

These hate crimes are often driven by an immature itch for excitement and drama. Think bored and drunk young men marauding through neighborhoods, mayhem on their minds.
Often there is no real reason for these crimes, experts say. They’re committed for the thrill of it, and the victims are vulnerable simply because their sexual, racial, ethnic, gender or religious background differs from that of their attackers.
Often the attackers think society doesn’t care about the victims — or worse, will applaud their assault.
In these hate crimes, the attackers sees themselves as “defending” their turf: their neighborhood, their workplace, their religion or their country.
Unlike thrill-seekers, who invade other neighborhoods and attack without warning, “defenders” target specific victims and justify their crimes as necessary to keep threats at bay. Many times, they are triggered by a particular event, such as a Muslim or black family moving into a new neighborhood.
Like thrill-seekers, the “defenders” show little or no remorse for their attacks and believe that most, if not all of society supports them but is too afraid to act.
These hate crimes are often seen as revenge, whether in response to personal slights, other hate crimes or terrorism.
The “avengers,” who often act alone, target members of the racial, ethnic or religious group who they believe committed the original crime — even if the victims had nothing to do with it. They care only about revenge, and they will travel to the victims’ territory to enact it.
These eye-for-an-eye attacks spike after acts of terrorism, a bitter backlash that often targets Muslim Americans. After the 9/11 attacks, for example, hate crimes against Arabs and Muslims rose by 1,600%. A similar spike occurred after the Paris attacks in 2015.
Occasionally, members of the same religion or racial group target each other.
Mission offenders
These are the deadliest — and rarest — types of hate crimes. They are committed by people who consider themselves “crusaders,” often for a racial or religious cause. Their mission: total war against members of a rival race or religion. They are often linked to groups that share their racist views.
Mission offenders write lengthy manifestos explaining their views, visit websites steeped in hate speech and violent imagery, and travel to target symbolically significant sites while seeking to maximize carnage.

A rising graph
Studies of hate crimes in India show that they have steadily risen over the past five years. Amnesty International India documented 721 such incidents between 2015 and 2018. Last year alone, it tracked 218 hate crimes, 142 of which were against Dalits, 50 against Muslims, 40 against women, and eight each against Christians, Adivasis, and transgenders. The more common hate crimes, they found, were honour killings — that have sadly occurred for decades — and ‘cow-related violence’, that was rare earlier but has become more frequent over the past five years.
According to Hate Crime Watch, crimes based on religious identity were in single digits until 2014, when they surged from nine in 2013 to 92 in 2018. Of the 291 incidents mentioned by the website, 152 occurred in Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled States, 40 in Congress-ruled States and the rest in States ruled by regional parties or coalitions. Rarely, if ever, did bystanders attempt to stop the violence or police arrive on time to do so. In both studies, Uttar Pradesh topped the list of States with the largest number of hate crimes for the third year, followed by Gujarat, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Bihar.

What Are the Effects of Hate Crimes?
People victimized by violent hate crimes are more likely to experience more psychological distress than victims of other violent crimes. Specifically, victims of crimes that are bias-motivated are more likely to experience post-traumatic stress, safety concerns, depression, anxiety and anger than victims of crimes that are not motivated by bias.
Hate crimes send messages to members of the victim’s group that they are unwelcome and unsafe in the community, victimizing the entire group and decreasing feelings of safety and security. Furthermore, witnessing discrimination against one’s own group can lead to psychological distress and lower self-esteem.

In conclusion, we can state that strict laws should be enacted on hate crimes as the cases are rising at an increasing speed violating severla fundamental rights of a person including the democratic nature of our country. Moreover, steps should be taken to encourage people to not commit htte crimes.

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