Activist and former IAS officer Harsh Mander’s appeal to the Supreme Court of India for FIRs for hate speech by politicians has been put on further hold, as it were, owing to his alleged remarks against the top court in January.

Chief Justice of India SA Bobde said the petition filed by activist Harsh Mander seeking cases against politicians who indulged in hate speech will be heard only after examining the contents of a video where he allegedly instigated a crowd against the top court.

The court sought a transcript of the video. “We want to clear this out, we will issue notice and till this is clarified, we will not hear you, we will hear the other petitioners.”

Addressing a crowd at Jamia Millia Islamia University in Delhi, Mander had asked (above) “Who is this fight for? It is first and foremost for the country, and it is also for love.” The footage of this speech is from a December 16 protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, and against police violence against the students of Jamia a day earlier.

“To protect that love, the mohabbat, we have all come out on the streets, and here we will stay. Look, this fight won’t be won in parliament, because those sitting there who call themselves secular, they no longer have any moral conviction left in them to fight.”

On the matter of the Supreme Court, Mander said “This fight can’t be won in the Supreme Court either, because of what we are seeing in the Supreme Court for some time now, be it NRC, Ayodhya verdict, Kashmir, the Supreme Court has not given humanity, equality, or secularism adequate protection.”

Mander added, “Sure, we have all come on the streets and the fight will continue on the streets. But there is another place this fight lives on and another place we will win, and that is in our hearts. Mine and yours alike. We will respond to hatred with love. We must never resort to violence, as we learnt from Gandhi.”

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