Private TV channels may refrain from using term ‘Dalit’: I&B Ministry

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The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has issued an advisory urging all private satellite TV channels, to refrain from using the term ‘Dalit’ for people belonging to Scheduled Castes in compliance with a Bombay High Court directive.

The letter, which is addressed to all private TV channels on August 07, referred to a June directive by the Bombay High Court asking the ministry to consider issuing a direction to the media to stop using the word ‘Dalit’.

The court directive had come over a petition filed by Pankaj Meshram before the Nagpur bench of the high court.

“It is accordingly advised that media may refrain from using the nomenclature ‘Dalit’ while referring to members belonging to Scheduled Castes in compliance with the directions of the Hon’ble Bombay High Court and the Constitutional term ‘Scheduled Caste’ in English, and its appropriate translation in other national languages should alone be used for all official transactions, matters, dealings, certificates, etc.for denoting the persons belonging to Scheduled Castes,” it said.

The advisory had also cited a Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment circular of March 15, advising the central and state governments to use the term ‘Scheduled Caste’.

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