A post claiming that the Oxford Dictionary published in the 1900s defines the word India as "old fashioned people, criminals and stupid people" has gone viral on social media.
This claim is false.
"This is the real meaning of India which is still mentioned in the 1900 edition of Oxford Dictionary on page number 789. When the British gave this name to India, then the Oxford dictionary changed the meaning of India to Bharat, but its original meaning is old-fashioned people, criminals, stupid people." the post read. Find the hyperlink of the archived claim here.
The viral claim has come amid latest speculations on whether the union government will bring in a resolution in the Special Session of Parliament to rename India as Bharat. On September 5, 2023, images of the G20 dinner invitations sent out to world leaders by President Droupadi Murmu in her capacity as “President of Bharat" instead of “President of India". triggered debates on social media on whether the country's name should be changed to Bharat.
Moreover, the Press Trust of India reported Bharatiya Janata Party's leader and Rajya Sabha MP Harnath Singh Yadav saying "Oxford dictionary describes 'India' as poor, uneducated people. The Britishers deliberately linked people of 'slave' countries with the word 'Ind' or 'India'. With all due respect towards the makers of our Constitution, I want to say that they committed a mistake by keeping both 'India' and 'Bharat' words in the Constitution."
VIDEO | "Oxford dictionary describes 'India' as poor, uneducated people. The Britishers deliberately linked people of 'slave' countries with the word 'Ind' or 'India'. With all due respect towards the makers of our Constitution, I want to say that they committed a mistake by… pic.twitter.com/X40zAb7fRQ— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) September 5, 2023
In 2020, the then Chief Justice of India Sharad Bobde, while hearing a PIL, said, "Bharat and India are both names given in the Constitution...India is already called 'Bharat' in the Constitution." A similar petition was also rejected by a Supreme Court bench headed by the then Chief Justice of India TS Thakur in 2016. He had said that every Indian had the right to choose between calling the country "Bharat" or India". The bench stated that no authority or court, had the power to decide what citizens should call their country.
The viral post claimed that the 1900s edition of the Oxford Dictionary defines the word India as "old fashioned people, criminals and stupid people" on page number 789. BOOM ran a search of the earliest available online editions of the Oxford English Dictionary. The archived Oxford Dictionary published in 1913 does not contain the definitions of the word India or Indian on page number 789 or in the dictionary. This is mainly because the archived Oxford Dictionary Volume 1 only contains definitions of words beginning with letters 'A' and 'B'.
Further, BOOM found that the archived Concise Oxford Dictionary Of Current English published in 1934 also did not define the word India or Indian on page number 789. Instead, it contained definitions of words beginning with the letter 'O'.
However, the definitions of the word India and Indian were found in page number 580. India is defined as, "Country of S. Asia east of river Indus & south of Himalayas." Whereas the word Indian is defined as, "(Native) of India." Further, Indian was also defined as "one of the original inhabitants of America & W. Indies; European, esp. Englishman, formerly resident in India." The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) was first issued in parts in 1884, and the full first edition was completed in 1928, as per its official website.
BOOM also checked the Oxford Learner's Dictionaries' website and found that apart from defining an Indian as "a person from India or whose family comes from India", the online dictionary also mentions Indians as "old-fashioned, sometimes offensive". However, it refers to members of the indigenous peoples of North America. This does not apply to the citizens of India.
Do you always want to share the authentic news with your friends?