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Republican Party of India (RPI) President and Union Minister of Maharashtra for Social Justice and Empowerment, Ramdas Athawale, on Thursday informed that his party is going to file an appeal in the Supreme Court against Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court, which has directed the media to refrain from using the term ‘Dalit.’ The Bombay High Court has instead asked the media to use the constitutional term ‘Scheduled Caste’ to refer to the community. The minister said the same while addressing a press conference at Ravi Bhavan in Nagpur yesterday.
Read the excerpts of the interaction with Nation Next:
Earlier, words like ‘Harijan,’ etc., were banned. Now Bombay High Court has asked the media to not to use the word ‘Dalit.’ Don’t you think the government by banning or lifting the ban, is simply wasting its time in making such ‘cosmetic changes?’ What are the people going to get out of it at large?
The government wants to give justice to one and all. People who have called for a Bharat bandh due to the amendments in The Prevention of Attrocities Act 1989 should realise that 90% of the people apart from Scheduled Castes or Tribes would also be benefited from this act. The controversy surrounding Dalits should now come to an end.
You’re the Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment. By banning or using words like Dalit, how are you ‘empowering’ the people? How can social justice be served to the society?
It’s not about empowering the term ‘Dalit.’ It’s about empowering the society. It’s the media that has been responsible for the empowerment of such terms. Our job is to empower the society.