A clipped video of activist Harsh Mander addressing anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protesters outside Jamia Millia Islamia University on December 16, 2019 is doing the rounds of social media to substantiate an affidavit filed by the Delhi Police accusing the former of making derogatory statements against the Supreme Court of India.
The Delhi Police on Wednesday filed an affidavit through the Deputy Commissioner of Police (legal cell) Rajesh Deo, seeking dismissal of Mander's petition alleging that he gave an inflammatory speech. Deo did not comment when BOOM reached out to him to ascertain if the same clip was used to file the affidavit.
Mander had filed a petition in the Delhi High Court demanding an inquiry into the Delhi riots and demanding action against politicians who may have incited violence in north east Delhi. The same was supposed to be heard in court on March 4, 2020 until the Bench declined to hear his plea, till the matter about his comments on the court was 'sorted.'
In the affidavit, the Delhi Police stated that Mander's speech instigated violence and made derogatory remarks against the Supreme Court, in front of a huge gathering of people, reported LiveLaw, a legal website.
An excerpt from the affidavit reads, "Harsh Mander delivering a speech which is not only instigating the violence but is also seriously contemptuous as it makes derogatory remarks against the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India to a huge gathering of people."
BJP's IT cell chief Amit Malviya tweeted a 55 second long clip and claimed that Mander raised hateful slogans against the Supreme Court.
In the clip, Mander can be heard saying the following: "The fight will not be fought in the Supreme Court. Because we have been seeing...In the past, with respect to the matters of NRC, Ayodhya, Kashmir, Supreme Court has not set an example to protect humanity, equality and secularism. We will definitely pursue, it is our Supreme Court, but the decision will neither be taken in the Parliament, nor in the Supreme Court. The future of this country, you all are youngsters, what sort of country would you want to give your children... where will this be decided? One... on the streets. And that is why we are all on the streets." Rounds of applause can be heard in the background.
अब फ़ैसला संसद या SC में नहीं होगा। SC ने अयोध्या और कश्मीर के मामले में secularism की रक्षा नहीं की। इसलिए फ़ैसला अब सड़कों पर होगा।— Amit Malviya (@amitmalviya) March 4, 2020
This man Harsh Mander, who wrote the draconian CVB, is in HC to get FIRs against people for hate speech... And a judge gave him midnight hearing! pic.twitter.com/zrXYyBxfE3
Times Now ran a prime-time debate based on Mander's clipped speech and accused him of stirring a controversy with inciting speeches.
Imagine Arundhati Roy trapped in a man's body, where the man is @RahulGandhi. That is @harsh_mander for you: @ARanganathan72, Author tells Rahul Shivshankar on INDIA UPFRONT. | #ShaheenSadakShocker pic.twitter.com/pbXz86hsWR— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) March 4, 2020
The video is viral on Facebook, with a similar narrative.
Multiple netizens stated that Mander's video, where he was addressing a crowd outside Jamia Millia on December 16, had been selectively clipped and was shared out of context. In the longer version of the speech, Mander stresses on a non-violent approach towards the protest.
ये उनके लिए जो हर्षमंदर का सलेक्टिवली एडिटेड वीडियो शेयर कर रहे हैं।https://t.co/Zj8jHlmFTp— Umashankar Singh उमाशंकर सिंह (@umashankarsingh) March 4, 2020
Mander stated that the fight is not limited to the CAA alone but it is an attempt to protect the Constitution of the country. Mander can be heard saying that the government's war is not against the Indian Muslims but against the unique unity in diversity of India, which was gained after the freedom struggle.
Mander takes a dig at the ruling party for polarisation and compares the party to Mohammed Ali Jinnah. Three minute twelve seconds into the speech, Mander stresses why everyone is on the streets to protect the country's unique identity.
He says, "We say that it is one country - Hindustan. And in this country, there will be Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Atheists, dalits, adivasis, rich, poor, man and woman - everybody has equal rights in this country. And whoever claims to strip you off these rights, they will be stopped. There is a wave of protests in this country. And this is to protect the love we have towards our Constitution and save it. we are out on the streets to save it and will be there." Mander then goes on to say, "See this war cannot be won in the parliament. Our parties say they are secular, but they don't have such a strong morals to fight."
At 4 minute 40 seconds, Mander then refers to the SC. The same excerpt is viral with claims that Mander gave an inciting speech in Jamia. Mander can be heard saying the following.
"The fight will not be fought in the Supreme Court. Because we have been seeing...In the past, with respect to the matters of NRC, Ayodhya, Kashmir, Supreme Court has not set an example to protect humanity, equality and secularism. We will definitely pursue, it is our Supreme Court, but the decision will neither be taken in the Parliament, nor in the Supreme Court. The future of this country, you all are youngsters, what sort of country would you want to give your children... where will this be decided? One... on the streets. And that is why we are all on the streets."
At 5 minute 37 seconds, Mander can be heard saying that the decision of this war has to be taken in our hearts and how hatred can only give birth to more hatred. "Your hearts and my hearts." Later he says, "They want to fill us with hatred. If we answer them with the same, it will give rise to more hatred."
Hear Mander's entire speech below.
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