New Delhi: In an advisory to the media, the Union information and broadcasting ministry has asked them to refrain from using the word “dalit” and instead use Scheduled Caste to refer to the community. The order comes after the Bombay high court asked the ministry to consider issuing a direction to media to stop using the word dalit.
“Media should refrain from using the word dalit while referring to the members belongining to the Schedule Caste community in compliace with the directions of the Bombay High Court and the constitutional term Schedule Caste in english and its appropriate translation in other regional languages should alone be used for all official transaction, matters dealing, certificates etc., for denoting the persons belonging to the Scheduled Castes notified in the Presidential orders issued under Article 341 of the Constit-ution of India,” the I&B ministry advisory to the electronic media said.
The Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court had recently asked the ministry and the Press Council of India to issue directives to the media to abstain from using the word “dalit” in reports. Sources stated that the I&B ministry is unlikely to issue any advisory on its part and is expected ask the PCI to take a call on the issue. It is understood that the PCI advisory on the issue is expected within a month.
The Modi government had also recently issued an advisory in which the use of dalit was barred in official communication. In the March circular, the BJP government had asked all state and Central government departments to avoid the nomenclature “dalit” for citizens belonging to SC/ST.
“The Central government/state governments and its functionaries would refrain from using the nomenclature ‘dalit’ for the members belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes as the same does not find mention in the Constitution of India or any statute,” the directive stated.