‘Aatmanirbharta’ named as Hindi word of the year 2020 by Oxford Languages

‘Aatmanirbharta’ implying self-reliance has been named as Hindi word of the year 2020 by Oxford Languages, as it “validated the day-to-day achievements of the countless Indians who dealt with and survived the perils of the COVID-19 pandemic”.

The word was chosen by an advisory panel of language experts Kritika Agrawal, Poonam Nigam Sahay and Imogen Foxell.

The Oxford Hindi word of the year is a word or expression that is chosen to reflect the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of the passing year, and have lasting potential as a term of cultural significance.

Oxford Languages said in the early months of the pandemic when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced India’s COVID-19 recovery package, he emphasised the need to become self-reliant as a country, as an economy, as a society and as individuals, in a bid to navigate the perils of the pandemic.

There was a massive increase in the usage of ‘Aatmanirbharta’ following the prime minister’s address, highlighting its increased prominence as a phrase and concept in the public lexicon of India, it said.

Kritika Agrawal said amid a number of interesting and topical entries received, ‘Aatmanirbharta’ stood out because it validated the day-to-day achievements of the countless Indians who dealt with and survived the perils of a pandemic.

Previous Hindi words of the year are Aadhar (2017), Nari Shakti (2018) and Samvidhaan (2019).

While the Hindi word of the year has great resonance for the year in which it was chosen, it doesn’t mean that the word will automatically go into any Oxford dictionaries.

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