Oxford Dictionaries has chosen ‘Aadhaar’ as the Hindi word of 2017.
The word gained popularity due to Aadhaar card, which was in news last year and is likely to remain in highlight this year as well. The announcement was made at a session Oxford Dictionaries’ Hindi Word of the Year during the ongoing Jaipur Literature Festival. Other words such as Mitron, Notebandi, Gau-Rakshak were also considered, but the widespread discussions and debates around ‘Aadhaar’ was reason it was selected as the word of the year, journalist Saurabh Dwivedi said during the discussion.
Writer Pankaj Dubey said new words like Sleepawastha (state of sleeping), Maukatarian (opportunist) should be coined to express certain moods. Chitra Mudgal objected to the suggestion and instead advocated for correct use of languages.
“If a person with lack of proper knowledge coins and expresses such words then it can be understood but this is not acceptable when educated people do this,” Mudgal, an author, said. Poet and writer Ashok Vajpeyi said politicians use Hindi word Mitron (friends) which is not grammatically correct, when in fact the correct word is Mitro—an apparent reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi who uses the term often in his speeches.
Vajpeyi said the responsibility to conserve language lies with people. “Changes would come, new words would be coined but ultimately the responsibility to conserve the language is on citizens,” he said. Talking about the languages used by media, journalist Vinod Dua said that media’s job is to provide news in a simple language for audience, instead of creating a literature while broadcasting the news.