This comparative study seeks not only to delineate the differences in hate speech legislation but also to navigate towards a harmonised understanding of hate speech regulation on an international platform.
Abhinav Mehrotra, Assistant Professor, Jindal Global Law School, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
Amit Upadhyay, Associate Professor, Jindal Global Law School, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
In political life, free speech is essential to ensure that the citizens can and do provide opinions and beliefs. In India, the right to free speech and expression is a fundamental right.
Hate speech is not a new phenomenon, and instances of hate speech have increased at an unprecedented rate in recent times, posing complex challenges in this interconnected world. Hate speech has resulted in increased discrimination and violence, halting economic development, and escalating armed conflicts in some war-torn regions of the world.
In recent months, there has been extensive media coverage of occurrences involving supporters of the Khalistan movement living in Western nations destroying temples and Indian embassies while staging violent protests. It was alleged that India is involved in the killing of Khalistani Canadian citizens on Canadian soil, with one Indian diplomat purportedly implicated directly in one such incident. Indian diplomats were consequently ordered back from Canada, which led to problems in the diplomatic ties between India and Canada.
This chain of protests, agitations, and accusations prompts a critical inquiry into the struggle faced by Western nations in striking a balance between the fundamental right to free speech and the proliferation of hate speech within their jurisdictions. Despite being a global issue, laws regulating hate speech have been lacking specific guidance necessary to address this issue effectively. It raises the question of having an effective international legal framework that safeguards a nation from hate speech within the jurisdiction of another state.
Published in: The Daily Guardian
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