Ensure 'Harijan' word is not used: Par panel to govt

"As such, there is widespread use of the word 'Harijan' across the country, depreciating the status of the under-privileged sections of the society," Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment said in its ninth report on action taken by government on its recommendations.

"Therefore, the committee recommends the Ministry to issue fresh guidelines, instructions to states and UTs directing them to strictly ensure the non-use of the word 'Harijan' not only in SC certificates but also otherwise, It said in the report, which was tabled in the Lok Sabha today.

The Committee also suggested the Centre to consider taking punitive action against those states and Union Territories in case they fail to comply with its directions in this.

The panel had said in its previous report that it had recommended that ministry should "vigorously" pursue the implementation of the legal provisions to discourage or ban the use of the said word.

"From the action taken reply furnished by the ministry, the committee note that the ministry had issued a circular on February 10, 1982... to the state governments and Union Territory administrations requesting them to issue instruction to the concerned authorities not to use the word 'Harijan' in scheduled caste certificates," it said.

The committee observed that the circular issued in 1982, is "very old" and has lost its "sanctity and purpose" leading to its non-compliance by states, organisations and institutions.

"No further follow up action has been taken by the Ministry, discouraging or dissuading the use of the word Harijan," it added.

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