I&B Ministry diktat on not using the Dalit word is censorship: Congress

Manish Tewari

New Delhi,Sep 4: The Congress on Tuesday dubbed as “censorship” the advisory of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry asking TV channels to refrain from using the nomenclature ‘Dalit’ for people belonging to Scheduled Castes.

Congress Spokesperson Manish Tewari said such terms are commonly used in public discourse.

“If the I&B Ministry ordains that the language which you use in your reportage, should also be one that is pre-cleared by them, how else would you characterise this advisory except calling it censorship?” he told reporters.

“How else will you characterise this advisory except to call it censorship? And my request to all those media outlets, who have been supporting the spectre of censorship, that they should introspect. When you sow the wind, you reap the whirlwind,” he added.

The government’s advisory asked for the use the constitutional term “Scheduled Caste” instead of “Dalit”.

The letter, addressed to all private TV channels on August 7, referred to a June directive by the Bombay High Court asking the ministry to consider issuing a direction to the media to stop using the word ‘Dalit’.

The court directive had come over a petition filed by Pankaj Meshram before the Nagpur bench of the high court.

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