A Blasphemy law is a law prohibiting Blasphemy. Where Blasphemy is the act of
insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence to a deity, or sacred
things,or something considered sacred or inviolable.
History of Hate Speech Laws in India
There is really an interesting story behind the implementation of these laws,
set in the period of confrontation between Arya Samaji Hindus and Muslims in
In the year 1923,Bhartiya Hindu Shuddhi Mahasabha was pushing the agenda of
re-conversion aggressively. This movement was facing a stiff opposition from
Sunni, Ahmaddiya, Christian, Orthodox-Hindu and Sikh Organizations. Several
books were being written down by people of different faiths to demonize the
A Pamphlet was Published by a Muslim, depiciting the Hindu Goddess Sita with
some Derogatory remarks.to retaliate this action,a book RangilaRasul was written
by an anonymous Arya Samaji & was published by Mahashe Rajpal.
(RangilaRasul had a surface appearance of a lyrical and laudatory work on
Muhammad and his teachings;for example it began with a poem which says:
The bird serves my Rangila Rasul and calls Muhammad a widely experienced.
Person who was best symbolized by his many wives, in contrast with the lifelong
Celibacy of Hindu Saints. Rajpal was arrested.since the book didn't promoted
enmity or hatred between different religious communities, it didn't violated
section 153(A) of the Indian Penal Code.
Therefore Rajpal was acquitted by the court. Many Muslim organizations demanded a
law against insult to religious feelings and started a movement demanding that
the book be banned .on failing to fulfill the demand ,a young Muslim lad
ilm-ud-din(4th December 1908-31st October 1929)murdered the publisher Afraid of
Possibility of riots, in 1927,the British Government enacted section 295(A)of
the Indian Penal Code.
The Selection committee before enactment of the law ,stated in its report that
the purpose was to punish people who indulge in creating hatred between two
religions, or attack upon the religious figures of the particular community. it
however added that a writer might insult a religion to facilitate social reform
by grabbing attention Therefore, it recommended that the words with deliberate
and malicious intention be inserted in the section. inspired from this law, section 66A was added in the Information Technology Act,2000.Due to lack of
exact definition for blasphemy�it is also frequently misused by religious
What does Indian Law say about blasphemy?
There is no such offence in Indian law. Although originated in Christian
Therocracy, it is now mainly the problem of Islamic countries. there is class of
Indians who mistakenly believe that section 295A of the Indian Penal Code is
about blasphemy although this word never occurs in it.
Section 295A says that
whoever, with deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious
feelings of any class of citizens of India, by words either spoken or written,
insults or attempts to insult the religion or religious beliefs of that
class, shall be punished.
Important here is to note that the intention is the
essential ingredient.which makes a big difference Blasphemy is a Concept
originated from the religions of the book.here the three entities are beyond
challenge. The God, The Prophet and The Book.thus, in Pakistan, if some Atheist after
a careful research says;there is no Allah and what Mohammad heard was an
illusion ,he will be guilty but not in India. irrespective of intentions if a
person denies the truth of the big three ,he has blasphemed.
Case Law for Section 295A IPC
Shri.Chetan S/O Maruti Honnagal v/s The State Of Karnataka (High Court Of
Facts of the case:
Case is About the Anticipatory Bail Application
The complaint is loged by one shri Chandra Shekhar Bapu Munde of Prabhuwadi in
Chikkodi Taluka ,who is the complainant .it is stated that he is a leader of
Hanabar Community and Lord Krishna is his family deity.
This being the fact
accused no 1 Ravindra Harohalli, with an intention to outrage religious feelings
used vulgar and malicious words against his family deity lord Krishna and
circulated the same on facebook .it is further alleged that present petitioner
chetan forwarded the same through whatsapp to one Dnyaneshwar Khade of his
acquaintance, Not only that,the accused challenged the Hanabar community people
to come for protest if they feel humiliated. based on the said complaint the case
came to be registered against the accused for the aforesaid offence.it is also
stated that the petitioner is alleged that of forwarding the messages.
Interesting fact of this case is, how learned High Court Government Pleader who
was from the side of the state helped the petitioner in getting Anticipatory
Bail his wordings are as follows �In the context and circumstances, at this stage
I am of the sincere view that apart from welfare of the accused and the
complainant another supporters, what is required peace and tranquillity in the
society however, the offence under the section 295A of the IPC is non-bailable
and punishable with imprisonment for three years.one cannot spur the lull
thereby plant disturbance and hatred in the society just for sadistic
pleasure. considering the status of the circumstances and in the ends of
justice, equality and in the larger interest of the society, it appears just and
proper to grant anticipatory bail.
It is seen from the above case that instead of defending the state the
government pleader under the name of society's peace defended the petitioner
which will make the petitioner free to commit such crimes again.
Blasphemy Case in Saudi Arabia
Shankar ponnamwas an Indian agricultural engineer whose religion was Hindu
posted on social media a photoshopped image of the Hindu Deity Shiva Sitting at
top of Thekaaba, the holiest site in Islam.A group of Indian Muslim filmed
themselves beating Ponnam and posted the video on social media .ponnam was
arrested at a farm near Riyadh on Charges of blasphemy. he reportedly was
sentenced to four months in prison and a fine of 5000 Saudi Riyals
Blasphemy Case in Pakistan
After getting into a dispute with fellow farmhands in 2009, Aasia Bibi was accused
of Blasphemy. In November 2010 a judge sentenced her to death by hanging and to
pay a fine roughly $1000. In October 2015,She was placed in Isolation reportedly
for her own safety as other prisoners convicted of blasphemy had been killed
while in prison.
After a series of unsuccessful appeals and public outcry from
the international community and high �profile figures in Pakistan, the supreme
court suspended the death sentence pending appeal in October 2016,the Pakistani
supreme court delayed Ms.Bibi's final appeal hearing after a judge rescued
himself, she remains imprisoned and the hearing has not yet been rescheduled.
I would like to conclude by quoting a thought by John Henrik Clarke he says:
Anytime someone says your God is ugly and you release your God and join their
God, there is no hope for your freedom until you once more believe in your own
concept of the Deity.
Some strict Blasphemy laws should be implemented by our Indian judiciary and
Government not as strict as Pakistan but such that will prohibit the so called
politicians who create hatred in particular religions for there vote banks.
Artists and Films which are portraying our deities in bad manner under the freedom
of speech and expression granted by our constitution should be stopped some
incidences are like MF Hussain Paintings or PK Film, if film is promoting a
noble cause by showing ill effects of black magic and how animal killings under
the name of God is not good it should be promoted.
The law should be same for all
Religions as India Is a Secular Country the State should not act only on the
account of majority community having riots on religious hatred but should also
focus on minority communities.
- Hate Speech Laws In India �Wikipedia
- Thou Shalt not Blaspheme
- Thoughts by Nand Kumar Singh former Director
General at Indian Police Service.
- Shri Chetan s/o MarutiHonnagalvs The State of
- Blasphemy in Saudi Arabia,Pakistan (United State Commission on International Religious Freedom)