Delhi to Replace Word ‘Harijan’ with ‘Dr Ambedkar’ in Names of Colonies, Streets: Minister Gautam


He said a parliamentary committee had recommended that the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment issue fresh guidelines to all departments and the state governments, asking them to not use the term. (Twitter)

Delhi will be one of the first states in the country to curb the use of the word which many people claim is “offensive and derogatory”, Gautam said.

  • PTI
  • Last Updated:June 02, 2022, 14:31 IST
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Delhi will soon issue a notification to replace the word ‘Harijan’ with ‘Dr Ambedkar’ in the names of streets and colonies in the national capital, Social Welfare Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam said on Thursday.

Delhi will be one of the first states in the country to curb the use of the word which many people claim is “offensive and derogatory”, Gautam told PTI.

He said a parliamentary committee had recommended that the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment issue fresh guidelines to all departments and the state governments, asking them to not use the term.

In April 2018, the ministry wrote to all states and Union territories to avoid using the words ‘Dalit’ and ‘Harijan’ when referring to people belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC) communities. It asked them to use ‘Scheduled Caste’ and its translation in other languages for official communication.

“We have been working in this direction since 2019. The Delhi SC/ST/OBC Welfare Department wrote to the Urban Development Department, emphasising that it is a derogatory word and people belonging to Scheduled Castes do not like it,” Gautam said.

“We proposed that the word ‘Harjian’ be replaced with ‘Dr Ambedkar’ in the names of colonies and streets in the national capital. However, the process got delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

The minister said he has instructed officials of the law department to complete the process within 10 days after which a notification will be issued. There are several ‘Harijan Bastis’, including in Vikaspuri, Palam and Kondili. Harijan Colony is a street in south Delhi’s Kalkaji locality.

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