'Aatmanirbharta' has been named 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 a pandemic". 'Aatmanirbharta' means self-reliance.
The word was selected by an advisory board 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 selected to echo the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of the passing year, and have lasting ability as a term of cultural importance.
In a statement, Oxford Languages said in the first 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 traverse the dangers 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.
One of the biggest victories of the entire Aatmanirbhar Bharat campaign is the large-scale manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccine in India. During the Republic Day parade this year, the Department of Biotechnology emphasised the Aatmanirbhar Bharat campaign and displayed the COVID-19 vaccine development process in its display at Rajpath.
Oxford University Press India managing director Sivaramarkrishnan Venkateswaran said that the word 'aatmanirbharta found meaning with a wide cross-section of the society, as it is seen to be an answer to the revival of a COVID-impacted economy in an unprecedented year.
Ms. Agrawal said amongst the interesting and topical entries received, 'aatmanirbharta' stood out because it supported the day-to-day achievements of the innumerable Indians who dealt with and survived the dangers of a pandemic.
This word "gives a voice to the strength displayed by young and old alike in dealing with extended periods of isolation, lack of familial support, loss of livelihoods and other difficulties through sheer determination and self-reliance", she said.
Previously, three Hindi words of the year were inducted in the Oxford list. They are Aadhar (2017), Nari Shakti (2018) and Samvidhaan (2019).
Even though the Hindi word of the year has great significance for the year in which it was chosen, it doesn't mean that the word will automatically be included into any Oxford dictionaries.
Also Watch: Six New Executive Members Join BTC