>> ukrainian president volodymyr zelenskyy says russia has begun a full-scale offensive to seize control of the eastern regions. these include areas where russian backed separatists have fought the ukrainians for eight years. >> russian troops have begun the battle for the donbass for which they have been preparing. a significant part of the russian army is concentrated on this offensive. no matter how many russian
troops are there, we will fight, defend ourselves, and will do it and every -- do it every day. >> seven people have died after russian missiles hit lviv, the first civilians killed in the city, which had previously been considered safe. vladimir putin has told economic officials western sanctions are backfiring. moscow's mayor has warned around 200,000 people in the russian capital are at risk of losing their jobs because foreign companies have left or suspended operations. israeli agents -- israeli missiles have hit camps used by hamas. hamas earlier warned of confrontation between israeli forces and palestinians in east jerusalem. a 17-year-old palestinian girl
shot by israeli forces during a raid has died. she was injured on saturday on her way to an english class. at least 21 people have been killed during israeli operations across the west bank. israel said it sanctions are in response to palestinian attacks. the white house said it is disappointed with a judge's decision to avoid masked rules for planes, trains, and public transport. a federal judge in florida ruled that the cdc had overstepped its authority. the cdc recently extended the mask mandate, which has been in place for more than a year. the news continues on al jazeera after inside story.
>> more violence and hate speech in india and a prime minister under pressure to stop them. opposition parties are accusing him of staying silent, but will he act? what will be the fallout of rising hate speech on india's future? this is "inside story." welcome to the program. i am campanella. india's history contains coexistence between groups, but present times are marked by violence and hate speech against minorities. some politicians, especially those with ties to the governing party, are accused of inciting
and promoting violence. indian global and human rights watch groups say the frequency of attacks has been on the rise since 2014 when narendra modi became prime minister. some opposition parties are warning modi the fallout could devastate india's cultural diversity. india's 13 main opposition parties signed a statement saying we are concerned with growing hate speech in the country by people who appeared to have official patronage and against whom no meaningful action is being taken. we strongly condemned the recent outburst of nonviolence across several states -- outburst of communal violence across several states. there is a sinister pattern in these areas. incendiary hate speech has proceeded the aggression. hindu hardline leaders have held meetings to discuss rising tensions around hate speech directed at muslims.
in recent days, incidents around a hindu festival have led to violence in some states. india's supreme court is hearing a motion for political rallies that promote hate speech to be stopped. let's bring in our guest from new delhi. he is a party leader and author of rss: building an gap -- building india through sewa. and the founder and ceo for the center of countering digital hate. and also from delhi, an independent journalist. i would like to start with you. dozens of videos have been going viral on social media since sunday showing processions of hindu men, some with sticks, some with swords, stopping at muslim neighborhoods looking to propagate, scare, intimidate.
give our international audience a sense of the situation. how bad is it? >> it's unprecedented. there is a rash of hate speech, hate processions. they are targeting mosques. they stand outside mosques. you can visibly see members of the procession trying to enter the mosque and have a flag over there. speeches have been made threatening the rape of muslim women. it's horrific, unprecedented. we are a country that has known communal violence, but these incidents have taken place in seventh -- as many as seven indian states. this follows the profiling of the job -- of the hijab, the
dress of a section of the muslim community. that's the constant campaigning right now. there is constant mobilization of identity issues and mobilizing in a way which is scary and terrifying for indian muslims, which is a large minority and one of the largest populations in the world of the muslim community. >> i want to cross over to imran , who has a specialization in things that happen online, trolling, conspiracy theories, extremism. how does hate speech take such a hold where it boils over into physical violence, as we have seen it happening? from a psychological standpoint, how does it take hold like that? >> one of the things to remember
is the people using social media are human beings and the messages they are receiving online, they are absorbing and using them in their off-line life too. that seems pretty obvious when you think about it. india's government at the moment has shown a real aptitude for using the various tools that digital platforms, primarily based in the united states using a united states rule set and enforcement of the rules, have given them, which are the ability to mass proselytize information and hatred to hundreds of millions of people at rapid speed for zero cost. that's why these platforms, which are incredibly cheap to use, virtually nothing, are so powerful as a mechanism for manipulation of the public.
>> we will talk later about what's being done to try to combat that. the ruling bjp party has been accused of not just allowing this but encouraging it, hate speech, communal violence. as a member of the party, what's your assessment? >> what i heard news despicable. it is the most horrifying lie that they provoke. look at the outburst against the people who are the victims. here is a hindu festival being celebrated.
the procession is attacked. who does she want to blame? the people celebrating their own religious festival. this narrative is rooted in what is happening -- >> there has been documented video. it has gone around the world. >> haven't you seen the videos, men at the mosques throwing stones? fighting with the police? they have swords, knives, stabbing hindus -- >> are you rejecting outright -- can i just ask the question? are you rejecting outright that there is any discrimination, communal violence happening targeting the minorities, in this case muslims? >> absolutely. >> you don't even think it exists. >> i reject it outright.
one gentleman belonging to the hindu party was making a hate speech for two hours. this is completely wrong. i have the documents here. >> two months. i didn't hear you. >> he said give me 15 minutes and i will kill all the hindus. he is out and has been acquitted by a state ruled by the opposition. instead of being equitable about condemning anybody who takes the law into his own hands, we have been taking sides to paint a picture.
anybody has to be punished, be it hindus or muslims. no one has the privilege of taking the law into his own hands. >> just to be clear before we move on, you are saying you do not think there is a such thing as targeted violence happening from hindu nationalists against the muslim minority. you just do not think it is happening. >> there are no hindu nationalists. there is a religious identity, but what do you mean? >> what i am talking about is what is being called a hindu supremacist ideology. i would like to get your reaction to that. >> i say the issue is of saving india's constitution. india is a secular country. we have a fabulous constitution. there is of course denial.
we are told day in and day out, the social media messaging is hindus are being attacked by muslims. muslims are getting themselves attacked to -- they deserve it, they are provoking it. that's the draw of all right wing ideology and i don't want to have a fight. it has gone beyond that. the situation is bad. it is deliberate, it is not being stopped. it is being said in one of india's best universities. students were beaten up for eating meat on a particular day because a section of the students said we are doing a puja over here so we cannot eat meat even though there is no law about it.
muslims in my home state have been demolished. they threw stones at a procession passing through. india was always negotiating from the time of the partition and our foundation the processions going. through certain areas. there was always a protocol. it was not allowed. the police would not allow certain processions to go through certain areas where other communities live. all of that does not happen anymore. these processions are abusing a particular community, defaming their own religion. no religion can be about that. you have groups going through these areas, abusing. let me say two years ago in delhi there were riots and as many as 14 mosques were
attacked, burned. it was the small mosques, not big mosques, in the city where i lived. >> i hear you. my role is to moderate and make sure we give equal time to all panelists. what did you want to add? >> it is this kind of communal hatred which is responsible for what is happening today. look at the state of pakistan, which is ruled by the opposition. the processions are given permission by congress and she wants to blame us for this. she is a muslim and this kind of outburst against hindus is likely responsible for provoking her own community. she is giving them the feeling
of victimhood. when you look at the constitution, everybody is equal. >> we can try and have a constructive debate. we have an independent journalist. her religion or otherwise is not part of this discussion. i would like to cross over to you. our people -- and i am not just talking about india, i am talking in general -- are people manipulated to increase polarization or are actors capitalizing on fear and anger that already exists? >> one of the things that's changed in the last few years is the elevation of that which differs us from that which
unites us. the elevation in negative partisanship's based on hatred of one another. that is primarily based on we have shifted our discussion to platforms that specifically target and amplify that which is most contentious, because it keeps us on the platforms. over 10 years we have indulged an experiment, what would happen if we networked 4.5 billion people and then increased the temperature? you see negative partisanship rising around the world. people hate the other party more than they like their own. you see the competitive advantage that hateful speech gives to political parties. this is an epi-phenomenon, this
desiccated debate right now, an epi-phenomenon of a broader problem. listening to one side, which is essentially -- if for example the indian government did care about hate speech, it would be doing more than it is at the moment. it's argument seems to be we are doing nothing to either solve or exacerbate. you can believe for yourself whether you believe that's true. that comes with a set of political behaviors. this could be ukraine right now. this could be a putin puppet on one side and a ukrainian activist on the others. this could be democrats and republicans under trump, could be democrats and remain six years ago when i first started studying this topic. it could right now be a
supporter of le pen in in france. it is a trope that we pull out a defender of hatred on social media and someone who represents the victims, when in fact what we should be focusing on is that social media itself and the dynamics and economics that underpin the dynamics of that platform is the problem, no matter what pound shop putin has to say about it. >> you raised a very good point and made some very good analogies. i would like to ask you, what has the indian government done or not done? what has narendra modi said about this issue? >> after the recent round of violence, he has said nothing. there has been an arrest today in delhi. i want to make one point. i am a political journalist. i have a book out. i have interviewed the former
prime minister. i even interviewed mr. narendra modi before he became chief minister. of course he does not give press conferences enough. i have been forced to use my social media presence to highlight what i think is going wrong in the country. i am not there as an activist speaking only for the community, i am there as a journalist watching my constitutional values get destroyed. i would like to make that very clear. we have met each other. most of the people in the bjp are known to me. he says that she is a muslim, she is a muslim. >> which is when i interrupted because the point is not -- i don't want to descend into
personal attacks. >> exactly. >> that is why i brought you on the program as an independent journalist. what has narendra modi done or what has he said about this whole issue? >> this time he has said nothing. the opposition leaders have issued a letter, saying, are we to live in a state of permanent polarization and can the prime minister stop this? nothing has been said so far. in the past he has a slogan that means, development for everyone. that is how the bjp does its political messaging. on the ground all of this happens. particularly right now in a sort
of alarming way. many indians of any religion are out there raising this issue today.. >> i can see you want to respond. >> law and order is a state subject, not controlled by the center. government is not doing anything about it. anything which is hateful and which is beyond the constitution and freedom of speech. narendra modi has so many times condemned any hate speech by anybody. the only difference is he does not make a difference he asian. -- a differentiation.
no one has a right to take the law into his own hands. as far as the constitution is concerned, that is a sacred book the government has been upholding. please understand that these writings have taken place in states largely governed by the opposition. the states ruled by the opposition. to not portray that this is a design of the government, it is a design. give me one statement from the government which says we will permit everybody to take the law in his own hand. we have always gone by the
constitution. >> i hear what you are saying, that the messages that no one is above the law regardless of their religious beliefs. i would like to cross over to imran. human rights groups have asked facebook to release a report on hate speech in india, which it commissioned in 2020. it has not been released. how much responsibility do social networks bear? >> they won't release the report because it will be a devastating indictment of their failure to enforce their community standards. of course they bear responsibility. when you are aware of a problem, you allow that problem to happen , and profit from that problem, you are pretty liable vicariously for the harm being
created. that's one of the biggest problems we face in the world, that we have a lack of accountability and responsibility for things said online. every now and then someone will get pulled onto a tv show where they will bluster and lie about how they have not been encouraging hate speech when in fact they have and the effect of the social media presence is to increase threat against innocent people. we have to look at the platforms and see how we can hold them accountable in the united states. we have section 230 of the communications decency act, which prohibits platforms from being held liable for third-party speech on their sites. there are a number of different ideas for how that can be changed. the liability shield may be removed when there are serious human rights violations. that is something ro khanna has
suggested. there are people saying we should review -- remove that shield entirely so people can be held liable. the toll for their indifference and lazy, greedy monetization and enabling of hate speech is felt in deaths, lives lost. the pandemic, for example, in which millions of people died thanks to misinformation spread on their platforms. whether that be the rohingya muslim in burma or the people in ukraine now. in ukraine, the first missiles the russians employed were lies and misinformation. that playbook is the most sophisticated. the bjp is one of the biggest producers of misinformation and lies about muslims worldwide. that has a net effect on humanity --
>> [indiscernible] you have no business to make -- >> i have to interrupt. item letting him have his say. as the moderator, you have to accept he is sharing his analysis with us. actually, my apologies but that is time so we are going to have to leave it there. thank you very much to all of our guests, and thank you too for watching. you can see the program again any time by visiting al jazeera.com and for further discussion, go to our facebook page. you can also join the conversation on twitter. from me and the whole team in doha, goodbye for now.
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