The buzzword Aadhaar which found its mention in various serious debates and social media memes alike has finally landed in the Oxford Dictionary to become Hindi word of the Year 2017. Aadhaar was much popularised after the Government of India, asked its citizens to get Aadhaar Card issued as an identification proof.
The announcement was made on January 27, 2018, in the recently concluded ‘Jaipur Literature Festival’. This is the first time that Oxford Dictionary has declared a Hindi word of the Year.
Sivaramakrishnan V, managing director, Oxford University Press India, said: “We are delighted to announce the very first Oxford Dictionaries Hindi Word of the Year. We received an excellent response, both in terms of numbers and variety of words, to our invitation to suggest a word that had resonance with the masses in 2017.”
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SELECTING THE WORD AADHAAR
The selection of the word Aadhaar comes after a rigorous process, wherein the panel had to screen almost 900 Hindi words. In November 2017, the Hindi speaking population was asked to send their entries for the same. It was reported that the suggestions mostly included those words that had some political connotation. It included words ‘Mitron’, ‘Notebandi’ and ‘Gau-Rakshak’. However, a few words were rejected on the grounds of grammatical error. For instance. Ashok Vajpeyi, a poet and writer, pointed out that the correct word is ‘Mitro’, instead of ‘Mitron’, which is wrongly used by some politicians.
Interestingly the word ‘Bahubali’, coming straight out of the South Indian film ‘Bahubali 2’, also participated in the race. Other Hindi words such as ‘Vikaas’, ‘Swachh’ (coming out of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan) and Yoga also made the cut. However, it was the word Aadhaar that paved way to becoming Hindi word of the Year 2017.
THE SELECTION COMMITTEE | OXFORD DICTIONARY
The selection involved a collective effort of language experts, panel members and public suggestions.
The panel consisted of Kritika Agrawal; journalist Saurabh Dwivedi, Malika Ghosh, Senior Editorial Manager of Oxford University Press India; writer and publisher Namita Gokhle, co-founder and co-director of the Jaipur Literature Festival and Mountain Echoes, the Bhutan Literature Festival; and Poonam Nigam Sahay, Associate Professor at Ranchi University in Ranchi, Jharkhand.
The word ‘Aadhaar’, which means ‘base’ has its roots in the Sanskrit language.
Moreover, a suggestion has been made to include Hindi in the list of the official language of United Nations.