Replace ‘Dalit’ with ‘SC’, I&B Min Advisory Tells TV Channels

The letter was issued to private TV channels on 7 August asking media to use the constitutional term ‘SC’ instead.

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In compliance with Bombay High Court’s order, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has asked Indian television channels not to use the word “Dalit” for people belonging to the Scheduled Caste (SC) in its advisory.

The letter was issued to private television channels on 7 August, in which the ministry has said that the media "may refrain from using the nomenclature ‘Dalit’ in compliance with the Bombay High Court order", NDTV reported.

The advisory issued by the government is derived from the Bombay High Court’s order from earlier this year on 6 June after a petition was filed by Pankaj Meshram, who sought removal of the word ‘Dalit’ from all government documents and communications.


“It is accordingly advised that the media may refrain from using the nomenclature ‘Dalit’ while referring to members of the Scheduled Caste in compliance with the direction of the Bombay high court, and the Constitutional term ‘Scheduled Caste’ in English and appropriate translation in other national languages should alone be used for all official transactions, matters, dealings, certificates, etc for denoting the persons belonging to the Scheduled Castes notified in the Presidential Orders issued under Article 341 of the Constitution of India,” Hindustan Times reported, quoting the I&B Ministry’s order.

It was during this hearing that the petitioner’s lawyer SR Nanaware said that the media should also abstain from using the word ‘Dalit’, prompting the Nagpur bench of the High Court to direct the I&B Ministry to consider the issue, Mid-Day reported.

Earlier this year in March, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment had issued a circular advising ministries, departments and state governments to drop the term ‘Dalit’ and use the constitutional term ‘Scheduled Castes’ instead for official communications.

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