“When a mob lynches a Muslim man on the suspicion of possessing beef, it is recorded as a murder. When a North-Eastern or African student is abused with slurs, it is recorded as an obscene act. When a gay man is beaten because of the way he looks and acts, it is recorded as an assault”, the purpose of the Hate Tracker project continues.
On July 28, 2017, Hindustan Times launched its ‘Hate Tracker’ – India’s first national database to track hate crimes such as acts of violence, threats of violence, and incitements to violence based on religion, caste, race, ethnicity, region of origin, gender identity and sexual orientation.
Till now 159 incidents reported since the launch and at least 42 killed and counting…
Indian legal system has sufficient laws to punish violence or abuse but it does not have adequate laws to deal with hate crimes. The fact is, we can tackle crimes but how we are supposed to cure bigotry?
The hate tracker was intended to be a crowd-sourced database of hate crimes in India since September 2015. The purpose of this project is to make a public record of these crimes which will provide solid, irrefutable evidence to researchers, activists, and political leaders trying to grapple with the challenges of hate.
The incidents can be reported @ http://www.hindustantimes.com/hate-tracker/tip
The National Crime Records Bureau publishes an annual report on crime statistics from every state in India. But there is no separate classification for identity-based hate crimes. The available figures include the number of crimes registered under the SC/ST Act, under section 153A, and as part of communal riots.
This data does not classify the ‘primary offence’ for example, a murder motivated by religious prejudice will appear only as a murder.
The database includes the acts of violence, threats of violence, and incitements to violence in the name of cow vigilantism as it happened on the basis of religious belief. It also includes honour killings in the name of religion or caste and several forms of humiliation such as public stripping and tonsuring upon Dalits.
Database Link: http://www.hindustantimes.com/hate-tracker/
What’s not included?
The act of terrorism, as it is considered a separate and uniquely dire offence throughout the world. Any ongoing political or military conflict and instance of mob violence where the motive was not based on identity based hate crime. It also doesn’t include the attacks by or between two political parties.
How long the tracker will be maintained?
‘Hate Tracker’, a key initiative of editor Bobby Ghosh who was allegedly asked to exit last month by Hindustan Times proprietor Shobhana Bhartia after a personal meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and objections raised by top-level government and Bharatiya Janata Party officials to editorial decisions taken during Ghosh’s tenure.
Although thewire.in claimed that there is a shift in editorial direction following Ghosh’s exit and HT appears to be distancing itself from the newspaper’s ‘Hate Tracker’