[Answered] What is hate crime? Discuss various causes and measures to stop hate crimes in India.

Demand of the question
Introduction. What is hate crime?
Body. Causes of hate crimes and methods to prevent hate crimes.
Conclusion. Way forward.

Hate crime is a crime, typically involving violence, that is motivated by prejudice on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation, or other grounds. It targets a victim because of their membership to a certain social group or race. In India hate crimes are a big threat. Amnesty International India documented 721 hate crime incidents between 2015 and 2018. Data shows that hate crime have steadily risen over the past five years in India.

Causes of hate crimes:

  1. A bias against the any group due to historical or social reasons can motivate an individual to commit a hate crime.
  2. Hate crimes may be the product of our social environments. These are more likely to occur in societies where certain identity have advantages over others. E.g systemic discrimination like casteism may give rise to an environment where hate crime is motivated.
  3. Hate crime can also occur due to misguidance of youth who do it as an act of adventure motivated by thrill and excitement.
  4. It can be done for defence against any perceived and presumed threat from other social group. It may also be motivated by a desire to protect one’s territory. E.g hate crime against a nation’s citizens.
  5. It can be done to retaliate as an act of revenge.
  6. It may be influenced by perception that certain groups pose a threat to them. These threats can be divided into threats such as perceived competition over jobs, housing and other resources, and physical harm to themselves or others which are concerned with the threat posed to people’s values and social norms.

Measures to stop hate crimes in India:

  1. Sensitisation:Indian community should be sensitised towards the rights of other citizens and danger of hate crimes for social cohesion.
  2. Community Policing: By fostering partnerships with the community a society enables communities and law enforcement to work together to prevent and respond to hate crimes. Community involvement can prevent turning a hate-related problem into a serious crime. Everyone in the community needs to be involved in the solution. Including diverse groups whose communities may be targets of hate is important.
  3. Awareness of the Problem: To address the problem of hate motivated crimes, awareness about the consequences of the crime is important. By understanding the problem, the community become aware of the significance and need of addressing the issues facing the community. A public awareness campaign in the community that provides information, awareness, and resources for community members and victims of hate crimes is important.
  4. Youth involvement and counselling: The majority of hate crimes are committed by persons who are 29 years old and younger. Youth are also often more vulnerable to violent attacks, bullying, and other forms of harassment. To combat this teachers and school administrators should educate their students and staffs on the nature of hate incidents and crimes and how to prevent them.
  5. Law Enforcement and Prioritising Hate Crimes: Strong law enforcement is critical to prevent hate crimes. Making combating of hate crimes a priority for a law enforcement agency sends the message that discrimination and harassment will not be tolerated. This also ensures resources are devoted to the prevention and intervention of these crimes.
  6. Training for Officers and Deputies: Police should train new recruits and existing officers and deputies on hate crimes and other related issues to ensure responding officers and deputies are trained to investigate and report the hate crimes or incidents.
  7. Create a Special Task Force on Hate Crimes: A special hate crime task force with members from various law enforcement agencies and representatives of the community should be created. Task forces should focus on improving efficiencies of law enforcement, assistance to victims, and strengthening the partnership between law enforcement and the community.

Hate crime is a threat to social fabric. For a diverse country like India, it is threat to its unity and peace. Therefore, coordinated action with pro-active steps of community and government is needed.

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