Nothing wrong in using the word Dalit: Athawale

Mumbai: Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdas Athawale is of the view that usage of the word ‘Dalit’ should not be done away with. He has stated that his Republican Party of India (RPI) will approach the Supreme Court to challenge the government’s advisory which had asked media to refrain from using the word.

“The terms Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribe are already in use in government records, but we are of the view that the word ‘Dalit’ should be used. Republican Party of India is approaching the Supreme Court (to challenge the advisory),” Athawale told ANI.

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had earlier advised media to stop using the term ‘Dalit’ while referring to members of the Scheduled Castes. The Bombay High Court, in June, asked the ministry to consider issuing the directive to the media.

While addressing the media on September 6, Athawale said: “On behalf of the Republican Party of India, we will go to the Supreme Court and challenge the Bombay High Court’s decision to ban the usage of the word ‘Dalit’ because it isn’t offensive. It is wrong to ban its usage.”

“We respect the court, even our ministry had issued a directive to use the word ‘Scheduled Caste’ instead of ‘Dalit’ in official documents, but it is not right to stop the media from using the word,” he had stated.