The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain a plea filed by a group of people challenging a media advisory issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to ban the usage of the word ‘Dalit’ by media in public debates.
The petitioners said that the Ministry, by erasing the term ‘Dalit’ from public debate, is creating a false impression that the term itself is derogatory.
The plea filed by some ‘Dalits’ objected to the Ministry’s order saying it has violated the rights of the Scheduled Castes to determine and express their own identity.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi allowed the petitioners to approach the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, adding that if aggrieved, they can move the Supreme Court again.
An advisory was issued to the media on August 7 last year asking them to stop using the term ‘Dalit’ when referring to members of the Scheduled Castes.
This came after the Bombay High Court in June asked the Ministry to consider issuing a directive in this regard to the media.