“Abhinandan” used to mean welcome, but its meaning would change now, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday in an apparent reference to the IAF pilot released by Pakistan.
“The world keeps watching whatever India does. It is the strength of this country to change the meaning of words in the dictionary. The meaning of ‘Abhinandan,’ which used to be congratulations in English, will now change (Hindustan jo bhi karega, duniya use gaur se dekhti hai. Is desh ki takat hai ki dictionary ke shabdon ke arth badal deta hai. Kabhi ‘Abhinandan’ ka angrezi hota tha ‘Congratulation’, ab ‘Abhinandan’ ka arth badal jaayega),” Prime Minister Modi said at the inauguration of the Construction Technology India-2019 Expo-cum-Conference here.
His remarks came a day after IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was handed over to India by Pakistan after being in captivity for nearly three days.
He was captured on February 27 by Pakistan following a dogfight between the two air forces in which his MIG-21 was shot down.
Soon after the pilot was released, Modi had tweeted, “Welcome Home Wing Commander Abhinandan! The nation is proud of your exemplary courage.”
Welcome Home Wing Commander Abhinandan!
The nation is proud of your exemplary courage.
Our armed forces are an inspiration for 130 crore Indians.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 1, 2019