New Delhi: Today, Oxford University Press announces ‘Samvidhaan’ as the Oxford Hindi Word of the Year for 2019.
The Oxford Hindi Word of the Year is a word or expression that has attracted a great deal of attention and reflects the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of the past year. Samvidhaan is the Hindi translation for the word ‘Constitution’. The term means, ‘A body of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is acknowledged to be governed.’
Samvidhaan (Constitution) first received widespread attention in August 2019, with the abrogation of two key Constitutional Provisions – Article 370 and Article 35(A) of the Indian Constitution, on 5th August 2019, which effectively removed the special status granted to the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir. The revocation of the articles lead to nationwide debates and discussions around the Constitution, bringing the word to the forefront of conversations across the country.
Some major decisions by the Supreme Court also significantly contributed to Samvidhaan’s prominence in 2019: The Sabarimala verdict, allowing women to visit the Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala, stating that the discrimination stood as violation of the constitution’s fundamental rights like the Right to Equality. Other significant decisions included the floor test in Maharashtra to save the Constitutional values and to ensure the smooth functioning of democracy, and the apex court upholding the order of the former Speaker of the Karnataka legislative assembly disqualifying 17 MLAs under the anti-defection law (the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution of India).
Kritika Agarwal, Hindi Language Champion for Oxford Languages said: “This year’s Hindi Word of the Year is a fitting choice reflecting the mood of the masses as also the focus of the decision makers. Constitution embodies the spirit of the country and the year 2019 was witness to the spirit of the constitution being embraced across segments of the society. In 2019, the Constitution moved from being an academic concept to a movement in real time.”
The Constitution has been at the focus of discussions across 2019 in India, and the year 2020 has been no different with the Maharashtra govt. recently issuing a circular making recitation of the Preamble of the Constitution mandatory in the schools within the State starting 26th January 2020.
The year 2019 witnessed the values of democracy, secularism, justice, liberty, equality and fraternity being tested on the touchstone of the Constitution or Samvidhaan. This is why it has been chosen as Oxford Hindi Word of the Year.
The Oxford dictionaries team invited entries for the Oxford Hindi Word of the Year through its Facebook page and received several hundred diverse and thoughtful entries. The Oxford Hindi Word of the Year was chosen by the Oxford Dictionaries team in India with the help of an advisory panel of language experts:
- Naveen Choudhary – Associate Director, Marketing, Academic India.
- Minakshi Singh – Consultant Editor Hindi, Oxford Languages
- Sarada Biswas – Consultant Editor for Hindi, Oxford Languages
- Kritika Agarwal – Hindi Language Champion, Oxford Languages
- Vivek Tripathi – Hindi Language Champion, Oxford Languages
- Poonam Sahay – Hindi Language Champion, Oxford Languages
For further information, visit Hindi Word of the Year.