Skip to main content

Govt of India asks media not to use 'Dalit' word to identify members of Scheduled Castes: "Follows" High Court order

Phule, Ambedkar
By Our Representative
A Government of India (GoI) advisory, issued by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (I&B) has, in a surprise move, asked media to refrain from using the word Dalit. Seeking "Urgent compliance with court order", the advisory says that it is "advised that media may refrain from using the nomenclature Dalit, while referring to members belonging to Scheduled Caste, in compliance with the directions of the Bombay High Court and the Constitutional term Scheduled Caste in English."
While the I&B Ministry's advisory is dated August 7, 2018, the matter has been made public by the Mumbai Press Club through a tweet on September 3, which says, "I&B advisory for media: Compliance with the High Court order for refraining from using word 'Dalit' while referring to members belonging to Scheduled Castes."
Siddharth Varadarajan, founding editor of India's top news portal, "The Wire", immediately commented through a tweet, "The word 'Dalit' was coined by Jotiba Phule. It was picked up by the movement led by Babasaheb Ambedkar as a political umbrella term to unite groups of "outcastes" ostracised by the Hindu Law of Dharma Shastras. The Information & Broadcasting ministry wants us to ban it."
Govt of India "advisory"
The I&B Ministry advisory, addressed to "private satellite TV channels, said, this was in "compliance" with "directions" given in the Order dated June 6, 2018 passed by the Bombay High Court's Nagpur Bench, in PIL No.114 of 2016 filed by Pankaj Meshram "regarding refraining media from using the nomenclature 'Dalit' while referring to members belonging Scheduled Castes".
"Earlier", the I&B Ministry advisory said, the Ministry of Social Justice "had issued a letter dated March 15, 2018 thereby requesting all the State Governments/UT Administrators that for all official transaction, matters, dealings, certificates etc., the Constitutional term Scheduled Caste’ in English, and its appropriate translation in other national languages should alone be used for denoting the persons belonging to the Scheduled Castes notified in the Presidential Orders issued under Article 341 of the Constitution of India."
The advisory said, Para 6 of the High Court order reads that "as Central Government has issued necessary directions to its officers, we find that it can also issue suitable directions as per law" to the government and the media "to refrain from using same word."
The order continues, said the advisory, that "various institutes in the field are not before us and hence, we direct" the government "to consider the question of issuing such direction to the media and take suitable decision upon it within next six weeks.”

Comments

TRENDING

Nirma varsity demand for higher fees 'illegal', violates Article 14: Letter to Gujarat HC

Counterview Desk
Students of Gujarat’s top private institute, Nirma University, situated in the outskirts of Ahmedabad, in a letter to the Chief Justice the state High Court, have complained that the authorities are demanding “full fees” from students, without taking into account the “disproportionate impact” the lockdown has on the livelihood of students and families.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

By Our Representative
Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book, "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Vulnerable to Covid-19, sharp rise in murder of Indian journalists during pandemic

By Nava Thakuria*
Vulnerability of working journalists in India is no way an alien issue as the populous country loses a number of working journalists to assailants as also medical emergencies. Even though there was only one casualty in the Indian media fraternity during the first half of 2020, who was targeted for journalistic work, India has begun witnessing an alarming number of media casualties during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Govt 'assures' Gujarat HC no action against MBBS students defying corona sahayak order

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government has assured the High Court that no action would be taken against Part-I and Part-II MBBS students of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC)-controlled NHL Medical College and LG Hospital and Medical College. The assurance follows the direction by Justice SH Vora to the State government not to prosecute or initiate action against the students who were defying the college authorities’ order to work as corona sahayaks (helpers).

Renounced US citizenship to serve workers, tribals, Sudha Bharadwaj 'odiously' in jail

By Atul, Sandeep Pandey*
Professor Sudha Bharadwaj has been in jail since August 2018. She was taken into police custody on August 26, 2018 on suspicion of being involved in Maoist terror activities after Republic TV claimed that she had allegedly written a letter to Maoists and was conspiring to create public disorder and unrest in India.

Ex-official: Murmu, appointed as CAG, will 'surely' perform shradh of the institution

Counterview Desk
A former senior official of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), Shantanu Basu, in a Facebook comment in the wake of the appointment of GC Murmu, a Gujarat IAS cadre official of the 1985, has raised doubts about the independence of CAG following the Government of India move.

Plant organic, eat fresh: Emlen Bage's journey from migrant labour to agri-entrepreneur

By Chandrashekar and Kriti*
Who is a farmer? Type this question in the google search and check out the images? You can see men thronging the screen. This is the popular perception around the globe. Well one can understand how difficult it would be for a woman to defy this perception.

High youth unemployment: India 'fails' to take advantage of demographic dividend

By Varun Kumar
As coronavirus pandemic continues amplifying challenges among youth with regard to employment opportunities, government policies have further resulted in economic slowdown, leading to mass unemployment and loss jobs. According to the International Labour Organisation report “Covid-19 and the World of Work” (May 27, 2020), around 94 percent of the world’s workers are living in countries with some sort of workplace closure measures in place.

Dichotomy? US Hindutva groups oppose racism, mum on Modi's 'anti-minority' stance

By Our Representative
The Hindus for Human Rights (HHR), a US-based advocacy group, has noticed a major dichotomy between the stance taken by RSS’ US arm, Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh (HSS), expressing “shock” at the “painful killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others”, all of which suggest “the tragic tale of racial injustice” in US, and HSS’ “hatred” for India’s religious minorities and Dalits.