‘Do not use terms Dalit or Harijan’

ST Correspondent
Tuesday, 10 April 2018

The circular was issued on March 15, 2018 and addressed to all states and UTs

Pune: Kendriya Vidyalaya (KV) Sanghatan has issued a circular stating that henceforth it is compulsory to avoid the nomenclature ‘Dalit’ or ‘Harijan’, for the members belonging to Scheduled Castes (SC). The circular was issued after KV Sanghatan was rapped by a bench of Bhopal High Court in a case of 2012. It holds importance when politics over caste is gaining ground once again in the country.

The circular was issued on March 15, 2018, and addressed to all state governments and Union Territories and states, “The authorities that issue SC certificates not to insert the word ‘Harijan’, in the certificate, but to mention only the caste to which the person belongs and which has been recognised under as SC under the Presidential orders.” It mentions that while issuing certificates, official transactions or matters the Constitutional term, ‘SC’, in English and its appropriate translation in other national languages should be used for denoting persons belonging to SC. 

The court order says that ‘the Central, State governments and its functionaries would refrain from using the nomenclature ‘Dalit’, for the members belonging to SC or Scheduled Tribes as the same does not find mentioned in the Constitution of India or any states”. 

Meanwhile, talking to a professor from a reputed engineering college in the city who is involved in the admission process said, “Dalit or Harijan, is not a caste but it is the term used for SCs or STs. So when we give admission to the students we only mention the category they belong, but not the sub-castes.”

He said, “Under SC we have castes mentioned as Neo Buddha, Mahar, Chambhar (Mochi) and others, but these sub-castes are never mentioned.” 

When asked how the reservation is given under the SC, he said, “If we get 4 students say for example in Neo Buddha caste then we will allot the seats to the students as per merit and if we get one candidate from each caste, then also the seat is allotted as per merit.”

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