In a recent development, an FIR has been registered against BJP MLA Nitesh Rane by the Navi Mumbai police in Maharashtra. The complaint was filed by a lawyer who came across a video of Nitesh Rane’s interview on a regional news channel posted on YouTube. The controversy revolves around his usage of the term ‘Dalit’ during the interview.
The FIR states that the use of the term ‘Dalit’ by Nitesh Rane is in violation of a directive issued by the Central government on August 7, 2018, prohibiting its usage. The usage of the term is subject to legal restrictions as it is deemed offensive and potentially divisive. The complainant’s grievance is based on this usage, which is considered to be a deliberate act intended to outrage religious feelings or promote enmity between different groups.
The case has been registered under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including Section 153 A (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence), Section 153 B (Imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration), and Section 295 A (Deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs).
Additionally, the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act has also been invoked by the police. This legal step underscores the seriousness of the matter and highlights the government’s commitment to prevent any form of discrimination or harm against marginalized communities.
The court’s orders prompted the registration of the offense, and further investigation is currently underway to ascertain the details and context of Nitesh Rane’s usage of the term ‘Dalit’ during the interview. The case has ignited discussions surrounding the limits of free speech, the responsibility of public figures, and the enforcement of government directives aimed at promoting social harmony.
As the legal proceedings progress, this incident serves as a reminder of the importance of being mindful of language choices, particularly when discussing sensitive topics, in order to foster a more inclusive and tolerant society.