New Delhi: A Parliamentary committee today
took serious note of the widespread use of the word `Harijan`
across the country and asked the government to strictly ensure
its non-use, underlining that it was depreciating the status
of the under-privileged sections of society.
"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
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
"No further follow up action has been taken by the
Ministry, discouraging or dissuading the use of the word
Harijan," it added.