National Integration Council
The National Integration Council is an extra-constitutional body that was founded in 1961 by then Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. The Council is chaired by the Prime Minister of India and comprises senior politicians and eminent figures.
NIC was set up to review issues of national integration and make recommendations and tackle issues to combat communalism, casteism and regionalism. The Council aims to promote the guiding principles on which India is based such as unity in diversity, inclusiveness, equal rights for all, philosophy of coexistence and tolerance.
Discussing religious discrimination and casteism with a special emphasis on tackling hate speech
The Articles 25-28 of the Constitution of India guarantee Freedom of Religion in India as a fundamental right. Despite the secular and religiously tolerant status that the Constitution holds, the unfair treatment of individuals accounting to their religious beliefs and practices is extensively prevalent. Discrimination manifests in many ways,including, use of perjorative language against an individual or group for their religious affiliations.
Over the years, language of exclusion and marginalisation has crept into media coverage, online platforms and national policies.These hate speeches, when left unchecked, can lead to violence or hate crimes or play a role in sowing seeds of intolerance and anger. Thus, they must be addressed in a way that protects the freedom of marginalised groups, without impeaching the Freedom of Expression in place.