Derogatory word used to identify Valmiki youth in caste certificate

JAMMU: Ekluva — a youth from the Valmiki community — had hoped that the caste certificate would help him get a respectable job outside the state, but he was shocked when he was referred by a derogatory word in the caste column of the certificate.

editorial@tribune.com

Dinesh Manhotra

Tribune News Service

Jammu, December 15

Ekluva — a youth from the Valmiki community — had hoped that the caste certificate would help him get a respectable job outside the state, but he was shocked when he was referred by a derogatory word in the caste column of the certificate.

The authorities have not mentioned Ekluva’s caste in the certificate issued to him under SRO 294. They have not mentioned him as a Valmiki in his certificate.

“The Jammu and Kashmir Government is officially abusing and humiliating despite the offensive word having been banned in other parts of the country,” said Ekluva, who is doing a postgraduate course in political science. “Calling a member of the Valmiki community by this banned word is nothing but an intent to insult or humiliate the entire community,” he further said.

While framing the reservation rules, the word was deliberately incorporated to discourage Valmikis from staying in Jammu and Kashmir, he added.

The word, he said, was mostly used by people for Valmikis as a word of insult, abuse and derision.

“Officially calling a person by the derogatory word is abusive and objectionable,” he observed. He demanded that the word must be immediately withdrawn from the official records of Jammu and Kashmir and be replaced with the word Valmikis.

Garu Bhatti, president of the Valmiki Mohalla Welfare Association, smelled a deep-rooted conspiracy to incorporate the word in the official record of Jammu and Kashmir instead of Valmiki.

“It is deceitful tactics because successive governments in Jammu and Kashmir have blatantly hatched conspiracies to deprive us of the basic human rights. This word is officially attached to our community to ensure that our next generation gets no jobs except of sweeper,” Bhatti said.

As reported earlier, Valmiki families in Jammu have been facing discrimination. Members of the Valmiki community who have been living in Jammu since 1957 are deprived of all constitutional and human rights due to the special status of the state.

As Valmikis are denied permanent resident certificate, qualified youth from the community are not eligible for any government job in the state. They are only entitled to the job of sweeper in J&K.

Secretary, Revenue, Mohammad Afzal Bhat said he had no idea about the offensive word being used for the Valmikis in the caste certificate issued by the Revenue Department. “At this juncture, I am not able to say why this word is being mentioned in the caste certificate issued in favour of Valmikis,” he said. “I think that the term has been incorporated in the official record as the caste of Valmikis and so, officials are using it,” he added.

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