New Delhi: Oxford Languages named Aatmanirbharta as the Hindi word of the year 2020. The word ‘Aatmanirbharta’ means self-reliance. 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 says, “Amidst a year of unprecedented times, of unlearning the normal, of adopting a new normal, and redefining the usual, it was the indomitable human spirit that shone through it all. For a major part of the year, while India has been under stringent lockdowns involving restriction of movement and other activities, the spirit of resilience and self-reliance has helped people weather some of the toughest times. Many have found that the ray of hope in most of our lives came from within ourselves.”
In an address to the nation in early May 2020, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced India’s COVID-19 recovery package, he emphasised the need of becoming self-reliant as a country, as an economy, as a society and as individuals, in a bid to navigate the perils of a pandemic.
He elaborated on this, noting that “Aatmanirbhar Bharat is not about being self-contained or being closed to the world, it is about being self-sustaining and self-generating. We will pursue policies that promote efficiency, equity and resilience.”
Oxford saw a significant increase in the usage of Aatmanirbharta (self-reliance) following the Prime Minister’s address, highlighting its increased prominence as a phrase and concept in the public lexicon.