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India: International Minority Rights Group survey warns of severe consequences for ignoring hate crimes »

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The international Minority Rights Groups annual survey in their flagship report, "State of the World´s Minorities and Indigenous Peoples 2014", says ignoring sectarian violence in India will serve to "consolidate the power base of extremist organizations". "If governments ignore hate crimes, the perpetrators see it as a green light to continue," the prevalence of hate crimes against minorities is widely under-estimated and is now being driven across borders by online propaganda, whether by sectarian jihadis or right-wing racists, ´says Mark Lattimer, MRG´s Executive Director.

The report elaborates that In South Asia´s India, Dalit women are regularly subjected to sexual violence as a result of their lower caste status - often in response to their demands for basic rights. This observation is particularly important with the news of Dalit minor girls raped in Bhagana in Haryana and Badayun in U.P a few months back where no justice have been attained till date and perpetrators happen to be from the powerful "Jat" community.

The rights group says that "hate crime towards minorities and indigenous peoples is a daily reality in many countries across the globe, but is often ignored by authorities".The report focuses on ´Freedom from hate´ and presents compelling evidence showing that hate crime and hate speech have been on the rise in South Asia too as other countries across the world. And that leads to ´violent extremism and terrorism´. In India there has been a spurt in communal and sectarian violence since 2013.

´The impact on victims of violent crime is well-known, but when such crimes are motivated by ethnic or religious hatred, whole communities are made to feel under attack. Hate crimes need to be recognized as such and the perpetrators punished.´ says Mark Lattimer."Hate crimes send a message not only to the individuals targeted, but also to their communities. This is especially evident in violence against minority and indigenous women, with rape and sexual assault employed as a weapon of war or an instrument of oppression to fragment and humiliate entire civilian populations, says MRG.

"The prevalence of demeaning or inflammatory language in political discourse, sermons, the media and online has very real implications for marginalized communities. The report highlights many countries in 2013 where rumors and incitement led to violence and loss of life."In India just after the new rightwing BJP government was voted to power, a techie was brutally killed by Hindu extremist group in urban Pune over Facebook post row for just sporting a beard.

While the 2014 "State of the World´s Minorities and Indigenous Peoples" documents disheartening levels of violence, harassment and verbal abuse across the world, it also includes many examples of how hatred is being countered by legislators, politicians, journalists, and communities, by addressing the root causes. Though there is still a long way to go before minorities and indigenous peoples across the world are able to enjoy freedom from hate, these and other initiatives highlighted in the report show some of the ways forward.

Posted on August 08, 2014

--- The Indian Minority