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Change ‘derogatory’ name of village, NHRC tells Ministry

Posted on 27 May 2010 by admin

AIHRA News, Friday 28 May, 2010.

New Delhi: Pose the famous Shakespearian query “what’s in a name” to the residents of a nondescript Rajasthan village and the reply unanimously is “a lot”. Residents of ‘Chamaron Ka Vas’ (home of cobblers) have been fiercely opposing the name given to it 23 years ago and approached the National Human Rights Commission in 2006 to intervene and direct authorities concerned to give it a suitable one. The residents of the village, in Hingota Panchayat of Dausa district, have been pleading for the past four years with the State Government and the Centre to change its name, which which originally ‘Kuwan Ka Vas’ (home of wells). But, their requests were caught in a “bureaucratic rigmarole”, the NHRC which recently heard the matter, said. “It is highly frustrating that a matter which was represented against in the year 2006 has dragged on, due to the bureaucratic rigmarole…” the Commission observed. “If enough sensitivity had been displayed, the name of the village could have been changed much earlier and the feelings of a particular community could have been assuaged,” it observed and asked the Union Home Ministry to get the matter expedited and inform about the decision it takes on the matter “as early as possible”. The Commission took up the case on the basis of a complaint filed by one Khem Chand and other residents of the village in 2006.The complainants alleged that a ‘Lekhpal’ (official) of the area gave a derogatory name to their village in land records due to “ill will”. The village is largely inhabited by Berwa, a scheduled caste community. The Commission noted that the case was in direct conflict with the “Constitutional mandate” and the village was given such a derogatory name despite the Constitution clearly prohibits any discrimination on the basis of caste, religion or language. “… The name of the village ‘Chamaron Ka Vas’ is not only derogatory but, perhaps, also constitutes criminal offence under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989,” it noted. (Pioneer 19/5/10)

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