Oxford Languages has named 'Aatmanirbharta' as its Hindi Word of the Year 2020. The word gained significance after Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasised on 'Aatmanirbharta' (self-reliance) as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
According to the dictionary publisher, 'Aatmanirbharta' was chosen as it "validated the day-to-day achievements of the countless Indians who dealt with and survived the perils of a pandemic".
Meaning of 'Aatmanirbharta'
The word was chosen as the Hindi Word of the Year 2020 by an advisory panel of language experts Kritika Agrawal, Poonam Nigam Sahay, and Imogen Foxell, according to news agency PTI.
What is Oxford Hindi Word of the Year?
The Oxford Hindi word of the year is a word or expression that is selected to reflect the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of a particular year, and have lasting potential in terms of cultural significance.
Oxford Languages stated that the word gained popularity after PM Modi announced India's COVID-19 recovery package in response to the pandemic. Modi emphasised the importance of becoming self-reliant as a nation so as to successfully navigate the difficulties of the coronavirus outbreak.
The organisation has stated that the usage of the word increased significantly after the Prime Minister's address to the nation in May 2020 during the COVID-19 lockdown.
"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," Oxford Languages said in a statement.
"In an unprecedented year, aatmanirbharta found resonance with a wide cross-section of people as it is seen to be an answer to the revival of a covid-impacted economy," Sivaramarkrishnan Venkateswaran, Oxford University Press India managing director noted.
The 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," Kritika Agrawal said.