The Hindustan Times has taken down its ‘Hate tracker’ initiative – “a crowd-sourced database of hate crimes in India since September 2015” that was meant to serve as a “national database on crimes in the name of religion, caste and race” and “a running catalogue of identity-based Hate crimes in India”.
At POLIS PROJECT, we are currently working on a project to analyse mob based violence in Independent India by putting together an open source political violence and justice data set. Our data-set logs mob based political violence – massacres, riots, lynching, hate crimes and other cases of complicit state violence since 1947, and tracks their judicial outcomes. We look at victims, perpetrators, command responsibility, due process, their legal outcomes, and how communities at the receiving end of violence view justice. You can read more about the data set here.
We started collecting the information presented in the Hindustan Times ‘Hate Tracker’ when the newspaper first announced the departure of its Editor Bobby Ghosh and began distancing itself from its ‘Hate Tracker’.
When The Wire reported that Geetika Rustagi, the organisation’s content engagement editor, sent an email to editorial heads in Bombay and Delhi with specific instructions, not to retweet or share any ‘Hate Tracker’ related content on social media, we were convinced that the ‘Hate Tracker’ will be eventually pulled down.
‘Hate Tracker’ was a critical public intervention, and it is disheartening to see the significant work that was done by journalist, reporters, designers and others being erased from the public domain.
POLIS PROJECT is making the data we collected from the Hate Tracker available online along with some of the screenshots.Data from Hindustan Times Hate Tracker.xlsx - HT Tracker
*Blue highlights are incidents relating to Cow vigilante violence
Mob sets Muslim man’s houses ablaze over alleged cow slaughter on Eid _ HT Hate Tracker
Hindu-Muslim couple approach court alleging Bajrang Dal harassment _ HT Hate Tracker
Cow vigilantes attack vehicle suspecting cow smuggling, find donkey instead _ HT Hate Tracker