Taking forward the tradition of reciting of poems and couplets in the Parliament, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman extensively quoted poems ranging from Kashmir to Kanyakumari during the budget 2020-21 presentation.
Dinanath Nadim, a noted and influential Kashmiri poet of the 20th century, whose poetry found a mention in FM’s speech, has been conferred Sahitya Akademi award in 1986 for his poetry collection ‘Shuhul Kull’ (The Shady Tree).
Recalling the lines from Dinanath Nadim, FM outlining the inclusiveness of the country read-out:
Hamaara watan khilte Shalimar bagh ke tarah
Hamara watan Dal lake mein khilte hue kamal jaisa hai
Naujawano ke garam khoon jaisa hai
Mera watan Tera watan Hamara watan, Duniya ka sabse pyara watan
The poem refers to Shalimar Bagh, and Dal Lake in Kashmir, emphasising that India belongs to all its citizens. And says our nation is the world’s most beautiful nation.”
Further quoting Tamil saint-poetess Avvaiyar, of 12th century CE, FM mentioned ‘Aathichudi’, a collection of the poetess’ one-line quotations arranged in Tamil alphabetical order.
Presenting the action plan for farmers, the FM said, “Bhoomi Thiruthi Unn” which means tend your land using sufficient amount of manure and grow the crops.
While reciting Thirukkural – a collection of two-line couplets – by poet Thiruvalluvar, she explained five jewels of a good country to convey the richness of India.
She further attributed Prime Minister Modi saying, he was working towards making the country prosperous through five jewels that are: an epidemic-free society, wealth, good crop, happiness, and national security.
‘Piniyinmai selvam vilaivinbam yemam
aniyenba naattiv vaindhu’
The couplet loosely translates to unfailing health, good economy, the fertility of crops, happiness and security are the five jewels of the country.
It is interesting to see that the Economic Survey released a day before the budget also quoted Thirukkural.
Before presenting about Direct Taxes Sitharaman quoted Raghuvamsa, a Sanskrit epic written by Kalidasa, to explain how tax collection from the people, will, in turn, benefit the people itself.
‘Prajanameva bhutyartham sa tabhyo balimagrahit
Sahasragunamutsrastumadatte hi rasam ravih’
It means, like how the sun collects water from the earth through vapour, only to give it back to earth a thousandfold, the king only takes the sixth part of people’s income as tax, that too, for the welfare of the state.
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