‘Shilpee’ not ‘dalit’

Shilpee, dalit, Rastriya Shilpee Andolan Nepal (RSAN)

KATHMANDU, Oct 15: The Rastriya Shilpee Andolan Nepal (RSAN) has objected to the use of the word ‘dalit’ in the Constitution of Nepal to refer to this community and called for using the word ‘shilpee’ instead by removing the word dalit.

The Andolan said the word ‘dalit’ has been used to refer to them in a derogatory sense.

Organizing a press conference in the Reporters’ Club Nepal on Sunday,RSAN ‘s coordinator Dan Bahadur Bishwakarma criticized the Election Commission citing that it called on them to first get certified as ‘dalits’ and then come to it, when they had gone to submit the closed list of candidates under the proportional representation system of the House of Representatives and State Assembly elections.

A press release issued by the RSAN objected that the Bishwokarma, Sarki, Damai, Gandharba, Badi, Pode, Chyame, Mochi, Dhobi, Kori, Tatma, Dusadh, Pasi among other communities which had been from ancient times involved in artisanship are referred to by the term ‘dalit’ in an insulting manner.

The RSAN has also called on the government to abrogate the policy which requires that a person from the ‘shilpee’ community could stand as a candidate in the election under the proportional system of the House of Representatives and State Assembly elections only after submitting the certificate that the person is a ‘dalit’.