Chandigarh: Taking notice of the word 'Dalit' being used for newly appointed Chief Minister Punjab Charanjit Singh Channi in social media pages, print and electronic media, Tejinder Kaur, Chairperson Punjab State Scheduled Castes Commission, on Tuesday issued instructions to not use denotation of 'Dalit' to mark the identity of any person belonging to Schedule Castes.
Disclosing this here, Tejinder Kaur said that the denotation of 'Dalit' does not find mention in the Constitution of India or any statute, and the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment Government of India has already directed all Chief Secretaries of the State Governments and Union Territory Administrations regarding the same. She said that the Honorable High Court of Madhya Pradesh, Gwalior Bench passed an order dated 15.01.2018 W.P. No. 20420 of 2017 (PIL)-Dr. Mohan Lal Mahor Vs Union of India & Ors. has directed as under " ..... that the Central Government/State Government 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 of India or any statute.
She further said that following the direction of the Honorable High Court, the Ministry of Social Justice, and the empowerment of India directed all the State Governments/Union Territory Administrations to use the word "Scheduled Caste" instead of "Dalit" for the persons belonging to Schedule Castes.
Acting on the reports of violations being made by the various media groups, the Information, and Broadcasting Ministry also issued a notice to private satellite TV channels by asking them to comply with an order passed earlier by the Bombay High Court to not use the word ‘Dalit’ in reports, she said.
Earlier, Punjab State Commission for Scheduled Castes Chairperson Tejinder Kaur in a letter dated September 13, 2021, addressed to Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan also recommended renaming the villages, towns, and other places which are presently named after castes and not use derogatory names such as Chamarheri, etc. besides refraining from using the word Harijan and Girijan in official functioning by ensuring the strict compliance of the instructions issued earlier by the state government in the year 2017.