India Hate Lab (IHL)

Hate Speech Events in India— Report 2023

Executive Summary

  • In 2023, India Hate Lab (IHL) documented 668 hate speech events targeting Muslims. Similarly, IHL recorded 255 of the events in the first half of 2023, while the number rose to 413 events in the second half of the year, a 62% increase.
  • 498 (75%) of the events took place in Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled states, union territories (administered by the BJP-led central government), and the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi (police and public order comes under purview of the BJP-led central government).
  • Among the top eight states with the most hate speech events, six were ruled by the BJP throughout the year. The other two states held legislative elections in 2023 and were ruled by the BJP for part of the year.
  • 239 (36%) of the events included a direct call of violence against Muslims. 77% of these dangerous speeches were delivered in states and territories ruled/governed by the BJP.
  • The Vishwa Hindu Parishad-Bajrang Dal, affiliated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), was responsible for 216 (32%) events, making it the top organizer of hate speech events. Overall, 307 (46%) of hate speech events were organized by entities that are part of the broader Sangh Parivar (RSS family).
  • Our report has found rapid growth of new Hindu nationalist groups and actors engaging in hate speech.
  • BJP leaders were involved in delivering hate speeches at 100 (15%) of the events. BJP legislator T Raja Singh spoke at 23 events, including 14 dangerous speeches with calls to violence against Muslims.
  • In BJP-ruled states, around 11% of events featured BJP leaders, whereas in non-BJP-ruled states, this figure rose to 28%.
  • Maharashtra (118), Uttar Pradesh (104), and Madhya Pradesh (65) ranked top among states for hate speech events. These three BJP-ruled states collectively accounted for 43% of the total hate speech events recorded.
  • Hate speech events peaked between August and November, coinciding with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad-Bajrang Dal Shaurya Jagran rallies and state legislative elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Chhattisgarh. Approximately 318 hate speech events, or 48% of the total, took place during this period.
  • 420 (63%) of the events included references to conspiracy theories, primarily involving love jihad, land jihad, halal jihad, and population jihad.
  • 169 (25%) events featured speeches calling for targeting Muslim places of worship.
  • Out of 193 events that took place between October 7 (the day Hamas attacked Israel and the beginning of Israel’s war on Gaza) and December 31, 2023, 41 (21%) mentioned the Israel-Gaza war to stoke hatred towards Indian Muslims.
  • Hindu religious leaders delivered hate speeches at 93 (14%) of the events.
  • Rohingya refugees were targeted in speeches at 38 (4%) of the events.
  • 176 (26%) events were held in the five states (Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Telangana) that conducted legislative elections in 2023.
  • 186 (28%) events took place in states that are slated for elections in 2024. The majority of these events were held in Maharashtra.
  • Hindu far-right influencer Kajal Hindustani, chief of Antarrashtriya Hindu Parishad (AHP) Pravin Togadia, and chief of Hindu Rashtra Sena, Dhananjay Desai are the top three sources of hate speech.
  • BJP legislator T Raja Singh, Pravin Togadia, and Kajal Hindustani are the top three sources of dangerous speech



Download the full report here: Hate Speech Events in India—Report 2023