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Hans Raj Hans questions the term ‘Harijan’ for Dalits

New Delhi, September 30: Punjabi singer and BJP leader Han Raj Hans said Saturday that the usage of term “Harijan” for a member of Dalits has historically caused harm to them.

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“The term Harijan kept the Dalits psychologically dented as it kept on reviving their memories of their ignominious caste-based social victimisation”, he said.

He expressed his angst while addressing a function organised by Guru Ravidas Vishva Mahapeeth, a social organisation, here Friday evening to felicitate Governors of Haryana and Uttarakhand Satyadev Narayan Arya and Baby Rani Maurya.

It was also organised to thank the Union Government for choosing the two from SCs for the gubernatorial assignments.

Besides the two governors, Union Social Justice Minister Vijay Sampla — who is patron of the Mahapeeth, BJP national vice president Dushyant Kumar Gautam and BJP MLA from Uttarakhand Suresh Rathore were present on the occasion.

While Sampla is the patron of the Mahapeeth, Gautam is its international president and Rathore is the national president.

“Dr Baba Sahib Ambedkar had not bargained for such epithets of Harijan. This term has been a curse to Dalits which kept alive the consciousness in them of their century-old social stigmatisation,” Hans, who is Padma Shri awardee, said.

“Baba Sahib had wanted education for the Scheduled Castes, and not derogatory term in the garb of their vapid glorification,” he added.

Mahatma Gandhi had used the word “Harijan” (child of God) as form of address for Dalits in 1932.

In March last year, a two-member Bench of Supreme Court had questioned the use of the term Harijan.

Hans questioned the sincerity of the Congress towards the welfare of SCs. In the same context he lauded BJP for demonstrating its positive intent in the matter.

He lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi for following the model of inclusive growth in matter of governance.

“They indulge (read Congress) only in empty talks of social harmony and equality, but it is the BJP which is showing the way,” he said.

Source Tribune India

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