A video accompanied by a post is being widely shared on social media claiming that the Oxford dictionary provided by the Andhra Pradesh Government as part of ‘Jagananna Vidya Kanuka’ scheme was modified for certain words. The post even claims by showing the examples of ‘God’ and ‘Godparent’ that the oxford dictionary had been changed to a Christian dictionary by A.P. CM Jagan. Let us fact-check the claim made in the post.
Claim: Video showing changes made to the definition of ‘God’ and ‘Godparent’ in the oxford dictionary by Andhra Pradesh government.
Fact: The content about ‘god’ and ‘godparent’ in the oxford dictionary provided as part of Jagananna Vidya Kanuka scheme by the A.P. government is the same compared to the dictionary available in the market. Dictionaries well known across the world also carry a similar definition of ‘god’ and ‘godparent’. Hence, the claim made in the post is MISLEADING.
Oxford Dictionary is considered one of the most credible and the gold standard for a dictionary. The definition of ‘God’ in oxford learner’s dictionary is “(in Christianity, Islam and Judaism) the being or spirit that is worshipped and is believed to have created the universe.” ‘Godparent’ is “a person who promises at a Christian baptism ceremony to be responsible for a child and to teach them about the Christian religion.” Godparent is a word largely associated with the religion of Christianity.
There are multiple dictionaries available online, which are trusted and credible. When we compare the definitions of both these words in these dictionaries, they are similar to the one given by the Oxford Dictionary. It must be noted that a dictionary usually gives multiple definitions to a word, and that includes online dictionaries.
Meaning of ‘God’ and ‘Godparent’ in other standard dictionaries
Merriam Webster Online:
According to the Merriam-Webster website, the ‘Essential Meaning of god’ given by them is “the perfect and all-powerful spirit or being that is worshipped especially by Christians, Jews, and Muslims as the one who created and rules the universe”. In their ‘Full Definition of god’, “God: the supreme or ultimate reality: such as the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped (as in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism) as creator and ruler of the universe.” According to Merriam-Webster, godparent is, “a sponsor at baptism”.
However, there are other definitions given by Merriam-Webster website too.
Cambridge Dictionary Online:
According to the Cambridge Dictionary Online website, ‘God’ is given as, “(esp. in Christian, Jewish, and Muslim belief) the being that created and rules the universe, the earth, and its people.” One definition of godparent is, “an adult who is partly responsible for the moral and Christian religious development of another person’s child.”
However, there are other definitions given by the Cambridge dictionary online.
According to Wiktionary, God is, “The single deity of various monotheistic religions, especially the deity of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.” Godparent is, “the person who stood for a child during a naming ceremony or baptism.”
Other dictionaries like the google dictionary, dictionary.com do not have such type of definitions. The definitions have distinguished various religions because one’s own definitions are different from each other.
The Official twitter account of the ‘Fact Check Wing’ of Government of Andhra Pradesh had tweeted and debunked the same claim. They put out a video saying that the AP Government did not change the definition of ‘God’ in the Oxford dictionary provided free of cost as part of ‘Jagananna Vidya Kanuka’ scheme. In the video, they have compared the dictionary available in the open market with the dictionary provided by the government; and that both have the same content.
To sum it up, AP Government did not change the definition of ‘god’ and ‘godparent’ in the oxford dictionary provided to students as part of ‘Jagananna Vidya Kanuka’ scheme.