Indian Air Force pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. Photograph:( ANI )
The Prime Minister's 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.
'Abhinandan' used to mean 'congratulations', but its meaning will change now, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Saturday referring to the IAF pilot released by Pakistan and the air strike carried out by India in Pakistan.
The world takes note of what India does and the nation has the power to "change dictionary meanings", Modi said at a housing ministry event 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.
PM Modi at 'Construction Techonolgy India'19' in Delhi: 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. pic.twitter.com/vit3RTCXBS— ANI (@ANI) March 2, 2019
He was captured on February 27 by Pakistan following a dogfight between the two air forces in which his MIG-21 was shot down.
"Take it for fact, the world watches carefully what India does... The country has the strength to change the meaning of words in the dictionary.
"Abhinandan once used to mean congratulations in English. And now the meaning of Abhinandan will change. This is the strength of this country," he said amid applause by the audience.
He said the country has to move ahead with "valour".
Soon after the pilot was released, Modi had tweeted, "Welcome Home Wing Commander Abhinandan! The nation is proud of your exemplary courage."