While presenting the budget for 2020-2021 on Saturday, Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman opted to showcase how the federal government’s vision is in tandem with the ancient history and ethics of Indian culture and civilisation.
In the middle of her record-breaking budget speech in Parliament, the minister opted to add some flavour from India’s culture and ancient wisdom, and what appeared to steal the show was her recital of a verse in the Kashmiri language that figuratively invoked the Kashmir Valley and the election symbol of the federal governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
She recited a verse from Pandit Dina Nath Kaul Nadim's poem Myon Vatan (My Motherland):
“SaunWatan GulzarShalamaarHyur, Dal Manz Pholvun Pamposh Hyuv,
Navjavan-an-hund, VushunKhumaar Hyuv
It translates as “Our nation is like a blooming garden of flowers, like a lotus blooming in Dal lake of Kashmir… Everything we do, all of us do, is for this beautiful country".
In response to the recitation, excited parliamentarians started thumping their tables.
Last August, the Indian Parliament revoked Jammu and Kashmir's special status and turned it into federally-administered union territory.
Earlier, talking about “aspirational” India, its economic development and a caring society, Sitharaman started the economic aspect of her speech by recalling the ancient Saraswati-Sindu Civilisation (Harappan Civilisation) of 3,300 BCE, pointing out how Indians even at that point had rich skills in metallurgy and trading.
The impatient opposition interrupted her speech, as she went into the specifics of India’s former glory to highlight how entrepreneurship has always been the strength of India.
Sitharaman, who hails from the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, invoked famous Tamil poet and philosopher Thiruvalluvar’s couplets on ethics, political issues, and economic matters.
She recited his verse in Tamil, explaining the jewels of a good country: health, wealth, good harvest, happiness, and security. With this, she proclaimed that national security is the top priority of the government.
“These five jewels are the ones that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is now addressing…”, she announced.