New Delhi: Days after the Bombay high court asked the Union information and broadcasting (I&B) ministry to consider issuing a direction to the media to stop using the word dalit, the Press Council of India (PCI) is soon likely to issue an advisory on the issue.
Sources stated the I&B ministry is expected to ask the PCI, which is the regulatory body for print media in the country, to study the Bombay high court judgment. Following this, an advisory on the issue is expected.
The Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court had, last week, asked the Union I&B ministry and the PCI to issue directives to the media to abstain from using the word “dalit” in reports.
The high court order stated “the Central government/state governments and its functionaries would refrain from using the nomenclature “dalit” for the members belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes as the same does not find mention in the Constitution of India or any statute.”
Sources stated the I&B ministry is unlikely to issue any advisory on its part and is expected to 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 Narendra 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 the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
An earlier government directive sought the authorities to not insert the word “Harijan” in Scheduled Caste certificates and only mention the caste to which the person belonged in order to confirm if it had been recognised as a Scheduled Caste under the presidential orders.
The Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court had, last week, asked the Union I&B ministry and the PCI to issue directives to the media to abstain from using the word ‘dalit’ in reports.