In an advisory to the media, the Union Information and Broadcasting ministry has asked media to refrain from using the word ‘Dalit’ and instead use ‘Scheduled Caste’. The order came after the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court asked the ministry to consider issuing a directive to the media to stop using the word Dalit.
“Media should refrain from using the word Dalit while referring to the members belonging to the Schedule Caste community in compliance with the directions of the Bombay High Court and the constitutional term Schedule Caste in English and its appropriate translation in other regional languages should alone be used for all official transaction, certificate matters etc, for denoting the persons belonging to the Scheduled Castes notified in the Presidential orders issued under Article 341 of the Constitution of India,” the I&B ministry said.
Sources stated that the I&B ministry is expected to ask the Press Council of India to take a call on the issue. The PCI advisory on the issue is expected within a month. The Narendra Modi government had also recently issued a similar directive. In the March circular, the BJP government said: “The central government/state governments and its functionaries would refrain from using the nomenclature ‘Dalit’ for the members belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes as the same does not find mention in the Constitution or any statute.”