Change `derogatory` name of Raj village: NHRC to Home Min

Pose the famous Shakespearian query "what`s in a name" to the residents of a non-descript Rajasthan village and the reply unanimously is "a lot".

Updated: May 18, 2010, 22:27 PM IST

New Delhi: Pose the famous Shakespearian
query "what`s in a name" to the residents of a non-descript
Rajasthan village and the reply unanimously is "a lot".

Residents of `Chamaron Ka Vas` (home of cobblers) have
been fiercely opposing the name given to it 23-years-ago and
approached the National Human rights Commission in 2006 to
intervene and direct authorities concerned to give it a
suitable one.

The residents of the village, in Hingota Panchayat of
Dausa district, have been pleading for the past four years
with the state government and the Centre to change its name,
which which originally `Kuwan Ka Vas` (home of wells).

But, their requests were caught in a "bureaucratic
rigmarole", the National Human Rights Commission which
recently heard the matter, lamented.

"It is highly frustrating that a matter which was
represented against in the year 2006 has dragged on, due to
the bureaucratic rigmarole..." the Commission observed.

"If enough sensitivity had been displayed, the name of
the village could have been changed much earlier and the
feelings of a particular community could have been assuaged,"
it observed and asked the Union Home Ministry to get the
matter expedited and inform about the decision it takes on
the matter "as early as possible".

The Commission took up the case on the basis of a
complaint filed by one Khem Chand and other residents of the
village in 2006.

The complainants alleged that a `Lekhpal` (official) of
the area gave a derogatory name to their village in land
records due to "ill will". The village is largely inhabited by
Berwa, a scheduled caste community.

The Commission noted that the case was in direct
conflict with the "Constitutional mandate" and the village was
given such a derogatory name despite the Constitution clearly
prohibits any discrimination on the basis of caste, religion
or language.

"... the name of the village `Chamaron Ka Vas` is not
only derogatory but, perhaps, also constitutes criminal
offence under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes
(Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989," it noted.

"One may say, what is there in a name? But imagine the
ignominy of the people living in a village of Rajasthan who
have been fighting pillar to post for over two decades to
restore the respectability to the name of their village," it

Dausa district administration in 2002 did forward the
application of the villagers to the state government
recommending a new name `Govindpura` for the village, but
nothing happened, NHRC said.

The Commission said it was later informed that the
state government agreed to change the name of the village from
`Chamaron Ka Vas` to `Kushalpura` with the consent of all the
villagers but this too could materialise as the Railway
Ministry objected to the name saying that there was already a
transit railway station `Kushalpura Halt` and it would create