Why the word Harijan was replaced by the word Dalit?

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Harijan means – Children of God.
Dalit means – Shattered, Suppressed, Oppressed.

Mahathma Gandhi used the word “Harijan” to denote the people who are considered as untouchables in the Indian Society. Gandhiji was a fan of Gujarathi writer Narsi Mehtha. Roumours spreaded in 1993 that in one of Narsi Mehtha’s works, Narsi Mehtha named the son of a prositute as “Harijan”. In other source Narsi Mehtha used the word Harijan to denote Dalits(1). For that matter even Meerabai used the same word for same people. Already Dalits feel that Gandhiji’s efforts towards the eradication of Untouchability was half hearted. They came to a conclusion that just to insult the Dalits Gandhi called them as untouchables.  They say that Gandhi called them to as Harijans not to sympathise with them to consider them as the sons of Gods, but to humiliate them as the sons of prositutes. Due to that reason Dalits consulted court and got prevented the word ‘Harijan’ to be used for Dalits.

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