While hearing a series of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) cases, Justice Gopinath P of the Kerala High Court flagged another worrying phenomenon that children may need to be protected from - political indoctrination..Justice Gopinath, during a casual exchange with the Bar, remarked that he had seen a "provocative" video of a child "spewing hatred" at a political rally. He wondered out loud how legal it was to force children, as young as 5 or 6 years old, to take part in such rallies and voice slogans of any kind by those with political or religious motives. "Children being forced to take part in political rallies and being made to voice all sorts of provocative slogans. That is some new kind of attraction it seems. How far is that legal?", the judge remarked orally. Pertinently, he bemoaned the possible irreversible long-term consequences of allowing such indoctrination to go unchecked."Are they not fostering a new generation that grows up with this religious hatred in mind? I was just wondering about the fact that when this child grows and he becomes a major, his mind will already be conditioned to this kind of rhetoric. Something must be done," the judge said..Justice Gopinath opined that children should be protected from such overt incidents that could adversely impact their impressionable minds. "Children must be totally prohibited from taking part in these rallies, sloganeering etc. Using them like this should not be ok. They do not have the legal right to vote or even drive till they are 18. Under the guise of freedom of speech and religion, can they be made to be a part of political rallies or religious rallies? He does not know what he is saying," he said. .The judge reiterated that steps must be taken to protect the children lest they grow up with such hatred."I just want to know whether there is any law which prohibits this. These children as they grow up will grow up with this hatred inside them , in their mind. They’ve already started sloganeering", he said. .Justice Gopinath's comments come just two days after the 'Jana Maha Sammelanam' rally was conducted by the Popular Front of India (PFI) in Alappuzha district. A video of a minor boy raising provocative slogans while perched on the shoulders of an adult man in the rally had gone viral on social media. Persons from all religious and political sides have derided the video and raised concerns for the well-being of the child. .Just a day before the rally, a petitioner had approached the Kerala High Court alleging that the district of Alappuzha had faced violent clashes in the last few months, citing several political murders by cadres belonging to rival political organisations. The brutal attacks also witnessed subsequent inflammatory speeches, which led to the registration of crimes in different police stations in the district.Justice PV Kunhikrishnan had admitted the plea and orally directed district police chief to ensure that law and order is ensured at the rally. .Recently, another judge of the Court, Justice K Haripal, had in strong and absolute terms, stated that organisations like the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) and Popular Front of India (PFI) are extremist organsations."No doubt, SDPI and PFI are extremist organisations indulging in serious acts of violence. All the same, those are not banned organisations", the Court had said.The Court had said so in an order declining to order a CBI probe into the alleged political killing of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) member, A Sanjith. The Court also observed that it is a common occurrence for SDPI and PFI members to be behind attacks on RSS members because of prolonged clashes between the groups."It is the common case that activists of the SDPI/PFI were behind the attack. There were clashes between the activists of the SDPI/PFI on the one hand and activists of the RSS on the other. There are series of attacks and counter attacks between them," the judgment said.Further, it noted that even after Sanjith was murdered, the clashes between the groups have shown no signs of abating."This Court takes judicial notice of the fact that even after this incident, after completing arguments in this case, two such incidents have happened in Palakkad. Consequently, one person each of the rival groups have been killed," the Court said.