“Samvidhaan”, or Constitution, has been named the Hindi Word of the Year for 2019 by Oxford University Press. The publisher said the Indian Constitution was earlier relevant only for trained professionals such as lawyers, judges and legislators, but in 2019, it gained renewed significance for common citizens.
The impact of constitutional principles was felt at a widespread scale during the past year, the publisher said in a statement. It cited instances such as the disqualification of Karnataka MLAs, the floor test ordered by the Supreme Court in Maharashtra, the top court’s judgement on the Ayodhya title dispute, and the debate around the abrogation of special Jammu and Kashmir’s special constitutional status.
The publisher noted that the Maharashtra government had recently ordered that school students across the state must recite the Preamble to the Constitution during morning assemblies.
“The year 2019 witnessed the Constitution of India, in a way, truly became a people’s document, given to the people by the people,” the statement read. “The year 2019 witnessed the values of democracy, secularism, justice, liberty, equality and fraternity being tested on the touchstone of the Constitution.”
One of the panellists who picked the word, Kritika Agarwal, told PTI: “The Hindi Word of the Year for 2019 is a fitting choice reflecting the mood of the masses as also the focus of the decision makers... In 2019, the Constitution moved from being an academic concept to a movement in real time.”
To select the Hindi Word of the Year, earlier this month Oxford University Press sought entries through its Facebook page. The panel of judges reviewed the entries and came up with a unanimous decision.
“Aadhaar” was Oxford Dictionaries’ inaugural Hindi Word of the Year for 2017, followed by “Nari Shakti”, or women’s power, in 2018.