New Delhi: The Supreme Court has again expressed concern over the incidents of hate speech. The Supreme Court said on Wednesday, “Mixing religion with politics is a source of hate speech. Politicians make the use of religion for power a matter of concern.”

“With this intolerance, intellectual lack, we cannot become number one in the world. If you want to be a super power, first of all you need the rule of law,” court observed.

“Statements like ‘Go to Pakistan’ regularly violate dignity. Where have we reached now? Once we used to have speakers like Nehru, Vajpayee, now a crowd of people come to listen to unnecessary elements.

“Why can’t people take a pledge not to humiliate the members of the society? States have become impotent, powerless and do not act on time. If they are silent, why should they be a state?”

The Supreme Court said, “To get rid of hate speech, religion has to be separated from politics. There have been cracks in mutual brotherhood. Unless politics is separated from religion, it cannot be curbed,” the apex court said.

A bench of Justices K M Joseph and B V Nagarathna asked why states cannot evolve a mechanism to reduce the offence of hate speech in the society. “The big problem is that politicians use religion. Religion and politics are linked in the country. Religion and politics need to be separated,” he said.

The bench also expressed strong displeasure over the inaction of states in hate speech cases. “States have become impotent and powerless. They do not work on time. Why are there states, and why are they silent? Every action has an adverse reaction,” he said. However, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta objected to this. “This would mean that the court is considering it justified,” Mehta said.

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