A hate crime is defined as ‘Any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person’s race or perceived race; religion or perceived religion; sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation; disability or perceived disability and any crime motivated by hostility or prejudice against a person who is transgender or perceived to be transgender.’

A hate incident is any incident which the victim, or anyone else, thinks is based on someone’s prejudice towards them because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or because they are transgender.

FBI report:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Monday released its annual Hate Crimes Statistics report, 2019, which says that last year more than 7,000 criminal incidents and over 8,500 related offences were motivated by bias towards race, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, sexual orientation, and disability, gender and gender identity. Hate crime incidents recorded in 2019 are the highest recorded in more than a decade, according to the report.

The report is compiled by the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) programme, which relied on 2019 data provided by over 15,500 law enforcement agencies across the US on offences, victims, offenders and locations of hate crimes.

Types of hate crime:

Hate crime can fall into one of three main types: physical assault, verbal abuse and incitement to hatred.

Physical assault

Physical assault of any kind is an offence.

Depending on the level of the violence used, a perpetrator may be charged with common assault, actual bodily harm or grievous bodily harm.

Verbal abuse

Verbal abuse, threats or name-calling can be a common and extremely unpleasant experience for minority groups.

Victims of verbal abuse are often unclear whether an offence has been committed or believe there is little they can do.

Incitement to hatred

The offence of incitement to hatred occurs when someone acts in a way that is threatening and intended to stir up hatred. That could be in words, pictures, videos, music, and includes information posted on websites.

Hate content may include:

Hate Crimes in India:

Measures to fight hate crime:

For a demographically diverse country such as India, hate crimes — including crimes of contempt — are a disaster. Each of our religious and caste community’s number in the millions, and crimes that are directed against any of these groups could result in a magnitude of disaffection that impels violence, even terrorism. Far less diverse countries than India are already suffering the result of hate ‘moving into the mainstream’, as UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres recently highlighted. We can still contain its spread if we act resolutely.