My Hindi word of the day: Kartavya

My Hindi word of the day: Kartavya

On a day when one of Delhi’s most iconic roads – if not THE most iconic road – was hastily renamed Kartavyapath, there could be no other word of the day.

Although reading, writing and speaking Hindi – inadequately, but I get by – I admit to not knowing this mot du jour, so here we go :

It’s masculine, by the way.

NOW…I have question for all you clever readers.

I thought “dharma” meant duty.

Is there a big difference between these 2 words?

Is “dharma” more religious and spiritual, vs “kartavya” being – perhaps – more practical?

Or am I barking up the wrong tree?

I think I’m heading vaguely in the right direction, but at one point I found myself disappearing down too many linguistic/religious rabbit holes, telling me that “kartavya” is a sub set of “dharma” and so I decided instead to ask you, oh gentle reader 🙂

Please do your “kartavya” – or is it “dharma” – and educate me.

You can also do your “kartavya” and read my inter-connected blog post about the re-naming.


  1. Madhuri

    I know Dharma in Buddhism means Cosmic law and order as taught by the Buddha, so have always thought it meant Buddha’s teachings and the rituals that accompany it. Possibly Divine Law.

    A similar meaning in Hinduism: an individual’s duty fulfilled by observance of custom or law. (Had to look that up.. thanks Google). Eek.

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