Nirmala Sitharaman balances large doses of Tamil with a Kashmiri poem and Kalidas’ Raghuvamsam

    • Nirmala Sitharaman recited a Kashmiri poem by Sahitya Academy winner Pandit Deenanath Kaul during Budget speech.
    • She also read verses of Tamil saint Avvayyar and Thiruvallur.
    • Kalidasa’s Sanskrit epic Raghuvamsham was also a part of the budget where she spoke of changes in personal taxation.
In her second Budget, Nirmala Sitharaman did not stick to her own mother tongue to bring a lyrical rhythm to her Budget speech. She quoted a Kashmiri poem by Sahitya Academy winner Pandit Deenanath Kaul -- which compares India to a lotus on Dal Lake in Srinangar.

In her maiden Budget in 2019, she quoted a Sangam era poem by Pisirandaiyaar while praising responsible taxpayers. This time around, she chose to recite a patriotic poem that also encompasses the millennial friendly theme of her Budget – that cuts across proliferation of new technologies like AI, ML and bioinformatics with the rise in the number of productive youth.

Saun Watan Gulzar Shalamaar Hyur

Dal ManzPholvunPamposhHyuv

Navjavan-an-hund, Vushun Khumaar Hyuv

MyonWatan, ChyonWatan

SaunWatan, NundbonyWatan

The poem which speaks of the love of the nation broadly translates to – “Our country is like a Shalimar garden. It is like a lotus springing from Dal lake. It is like the boiling blood of young people. It is the most loved country in the world.”

Sitharaman Budget speeches mirror that of Congress party’s P Chidambaram. However, the former finance minister always chose to recite various verses of Tamil classic, Thirukkural.

Avayyar - the saint of sustainability

Sitharaman also borrowed from the extensive Dravidian library of wisdom. She recited a few lines from poem Aatichoodi by a Hindu saint Avvayyar who lived 3,000 years ago.

Bhoomi Thirutti Un. The meaning of this saying is that one must first tend to till one's land and then eat. One must eat only after work. Our government shall encourage balanced use of all kinds of fertilizers including the traditional organic and other innovative fertilizers. This is a necessary step to change the prevailing incentive regime, which encourages excessive use of chemical fertilisers,” she said.

Kalidasa’s Raghuvamsam and Modi’s kingdom

She also quoted Tamil poet Thiruvallur’s kural which says that - freedom from illness, wealth, produce, happiness and protection (to subjects) are the ornaments of a kingdom. According to her, all these have been achieved by the Modi government.

Sitharaman’s plaudits also included Sankrit poet’s Raghuvamsham which is a eulogy of the Lord Ram’s rule. “Surya, the Sun, collects vapour from little drops of water. So does the King. They give back copiously. They collect only for people’s wellbeing,” she said before she announced changes in personal tax rules.


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