The Bombay High Court claims that the word “anaath” has no societal connotation

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According to the Bombay High Court, there is no societal stigma associated with the word “anaath”, which means orphan, hence there is absolutely no need to modify it.

Bombay high court
anaath
societal connotation
Bombay High Court

On Thursday, the Bombay High Court rejected a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) that asked the court to order the union government to alter the word “anaath” (orphan) to “swanath,” stating that there was no societal stigma associated with the word.

The bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Madhav Jamdar said there was no need to modify the word “anaath,” which means orphan, at all. A PIL filed by the Swanath Foundation, an NGO, was being heard by the bench.

According to the argument, children who have lost both parents are already vulnerable, and the word “anaath” conjures images of a kid in need who is also helpless and impoverished.

According to the NGO’s reasoning, a youngster that is independent and confident would be called a “swanath.” Uday Warunjikar, the petitioner’s attorney, said that when referring to such youngsters, a better phrase should be used.

“What societal stigma does the word ‘anaath’ carry? The Hindi, Marathi, and Bengali words “anaath” and “orphan” are synonyms for each other when used in English. Who is the petitioner who is now demanding that the term be changed? What does he understand about linguistics? The bench questioned.

The term “anaath” has been in use for years. We disagree with the petitioner that the term used to describe kids who have lost their parents carries any sort of societal stigma. It was further stated by the bench that there was absolutely no necessity for a modification.

The bench took notice that the petitioner requested that the term be changed to “swanath,” which is the name of the NGO. As it rejected the PIL, the bench stated, “Sometimes we too have to draw a boundary and not meddle in every situation.”


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