For Mahatma Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary, Govt schools in Rajasthan to remove 'Harijan' from their names

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Rajasthan's education department has ordered government schools to remove the word 'Harijan' from their addresses, saying the use of the word is 'unconstitutional'. 'Many government secondary and higher secondary schools in the state run in Harijan Basti or Harijan Mohalla and have these words in their names. The word 'Harijan' needs to be removed because it is unconstitutional,' said an order by secondary education director Nathmal Didel on Monday. The letter sent to chief district education officers and district project coordinators of Samagra Shikha Abhiyaan has asked them to compile a list of all such schools (having the word Harijan in their description) in their districts in three days and send revised descriptions to the government so that the school names can be changed in the records.

 

An officer of the education department in Jaipur said during the preparation for the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi in schools, it came to their notice that several institutions had the word Harijan in their names or addresses. 'We realised that the word is derogatory according to notification by the Government of India. Hence we decided to get details of all the schools which have 'Harijan' suffixed in the name or address and initiate the procedure for removing the word,' he said requesting anonymity. 'Harijan', meaning children of God, was first used by Mahatma Gandhi to refer to Dalits in 1932. However, the Supreme Court in 2017 said the use of the word was 'abusive'.

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