Tag Archives: Dalitism

Initiative for “Un-Dalitization” of SC/ST’s

Dalit word is unconstitutional: Scheduled Caste Commission

RAIPUR: The National Commission for Scheduled Castes has asked the state governments not to use the word ‘Dalit’ in official documents, saying the term was “unconstitutional”.

The Commission has stated that sometimes the word ‘Dalit’ is used as a substitute for Scheduled Caste in official documents, sources in State Tribal Department said on Friday.
After consultation with the legal department, the Commission said that the word is neither constitutional nor the word has been mentioned in the current laws.
Rather ‘Scheduled Caste’ is the appropriate and notified word as per the Article 341 of the Constitution, it said in a letter sent to all states.
End of news : 


The word dalit दलित , Sanskrit, means “divided, split, broken, scattered”. It had nothing to do with a jaati. It is purported that perhaps Mahatma JyotiRao Phule first used it in the context of jaati or caste.
But, the roots of  promoting the word Dalit in place of SC/ST was pushed by some ideologues among whom VT Rajasekhar was the foremost. VTR was himself not from the SC/ST community.  In 1986 he was arrested under India’s Terrorism and Anti-Disruptive Activities Act.
 It is important to note what VT Rajasekhar wrote about “Dalitism” in Dalit Voice in 1983.
He writes in his article ” What is Dalit and Dalitism”
We are also happy to note that not only the militant Dalits but even some Hindu press have stopped using the hated word, Harijan, a Gandhian humbug, and switched on to Dalit
Dalits and their co-sufferers must go to newspaper offices and meet journalists and prevail upon them to use Dalit instead of Harijan or SC/STs. We will suggest the Oxford, Webster, Cambridge and other dictionaries to include it.
” We are crushed and cramped and made mincemeat by the Hindu religion ” – he writes. Note he doesnt mention the society but attacks the religion. Source
Some ideologues have invested time, energy and money as is evident from the above article in calling many community groups together as “Dalits”-  meaning oppressed or broken people. Over time the word has been brought into national discourse. Assuming that the word has significance, is being Dalit a permanent status ?  In 1911, the Britishers banned jaati (caste) mobility. By the  term “Dalit” are now Scheduled castes being banned from being upwardly mobile by ideologues who claim to be well-wishers ?
Hundreds of well-educated youngsters from SC/ST community dont like to be called as “Dalits”.  Assuming that members of the group rise up in the ladder of life just as millions from SC/ST’s have over the last 7 decades, do they still remain Dalit or should they call themselves “Not Dalit” ?
Shouldn’t the encouragement be for an “Un-Dalitisation” among SC’s ?
If so, what could the steps be ?