The Delhi government is set to drop the word ‘Harijan’ with names of colonies, bastis, mohallas and streets across the Union Territory and name them after Babasaheb Ambedkar instead.
The move was followed by the issuing of guidelines by the Union government advising against the usage of the word ‘Harijan’. The word was considered derogatory by scheduled caste communities.
The proposal to rename the colonies and streets was tabled by Social Welfare Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam. He also chaired an important meeting in this regard with senior officials to expedite the process with officials from the concerned departments to act on the matter and issue a notification on the same.
The step was taken with the objective to uplift the SC (scheduled caste), ST (scheduled tribe), and OBC (other backward class) communities living in the National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCT).
The term 'Harijan' meaning 'children of God', was a term first used and popularized by Mahatma Gandhi to refer to Dalits in 1932. He devoted himself to fight against the inhuman practice of untouchability. He even started three journals in English, Hindi and Gujarati in the same name in 1933.