Hate Tracker: India’s first national database to track hate crimes
HT introduces a database of identity-based hate crimes in India.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 verbally abused, 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. In all these situations, violence or abuse may be punished, but bigotry is not. Part of the problem is lack of laws dealing with hate crimes. The closest thing in the Indian legal system is The Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, which criminalises a range of activities prejudicial to Dalits and members of scheduled tribes. As a result, there is a dearth of information about the power and influence of hate. That makes it impossible to know the extent of the problem. There is no national database of hate crimes.