Ramdas Athawale, who leads the Republican Party of India and is a Junior social justice minister will go to the Supreme Court against a Bombay High Court directive to the government to refrain from using the word “Dalit” officially and in the media.
He said that the word “Dalit” symbolised the struggle undertaken to give these communities their rights. “It isn’t an insult,” he said.
“Dalits and Adivasis are commonly used even though Dalit is not a caste centric term. That may be the reason why specific ‘scheduled caste’ and ‘scheduled tribes’ was included in the Constitution when Babasaheb B R Ambedkar drafted it.
The ministry of information and broadcasting had, on August 7, advised that media refrain from using the nomenclature of Dalit while referring to members belonging to SC in compliance with the directions of the Bombay HC.
“The word Dalit is aggressive by nature. You can use any word, Dalit or Scheduled Caste; it is meant for the oppressed and exploited classes. Such debates will not exist if we are able to put an end to this oppression,” Mr Ram Vilas Paswan said.