Budget 2020-21: Poetry that makes dry budget numbers alive; Will FM Sitharaman continue the unwritten tradition?

Budget 2020-21: Poetry that makes dry budget numbers alive; Will FM Sitharaman continue the unwritten tradition?
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Highlights

The Union Budget 2020 is all set to be tabled in the Lok Sabha on February 1 by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

The Union Budget 2020 is all set to be tabled in the Lok Sabha on February 1 by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The finance minister is expected to put out all available measures to give a boost to failing consumer demand and investment at a time when the economy is reeling under one of its worst slowdowns in decades.

Today is the day when the Finance Minister step into the Parliament carrying hopes of 130 crore citizens on her shoulders, who are expecting that something great will be shot from the salvos that she will bring with her which can make them smile. At the same time, it is expected that she like her predecessors will come along with certain couplets to make the dry budget numbers alive. So far, the poetry recited in the budget speeches has been quite diverse. The tradition was started in the 1990s by the former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh when he was serving India as its finance minister.

Below are some poetic quotes/couplets from recent Budget speeches:

Manmohan Singh (1991-92): "Yunnan-o-Misr-o-Rom sab mit gaye jahaan say. Ab tak magar hai baaki, naam-o-nishan hamara," this is Singh's first couplet that was used during the presentation of the Union Budget. It translates to be - old civilisations of Greece, Egypt and Rome have vanished from the earth. There is some reason that our civilisation is still alive.

Manmohan Singh (1992-93): "Kuchh aise bhee manzar hain taareekh ki nazron mein, Lamhon ne khataa ki thi, sadiyon ne sazaa paayee." This translates to be -there are dates in history that say mistakes made at some point of time create trouble for centuries.

Yashwant Sinha (2001-02): "Taqaazaa hai waqt kaa ke toofaan se joojho, kahaan tak chaloge kinaare kinaare". This translates to be - it is a time to fight the storms, how long you will keep walking at the corners.

Yashwant Sinha (2004-05): "Garib ke pet mein dana, Grihini ki tukia mein anna" which translates to be - Food in the belly of poor and money in the purse of the housewife.

Pranab Mukherjee (2009-10): "In the interest of the prosperity of the country, a king shall be diligent in foreseeing the possibility of calamities, try to avert them before they arise, overcome those which happen, remove all obstructions to economic activity and prevent loss of revenue to the state", it is a verse used by the author of Arthashastra.

Pranab Mukherjee (2012-13): He quoted Hamlet, "the prince of Denmark while talking about the tough policy decisions he had to take for the good of the economy in the long run. "I must be cruel only to be kind." This was the last Budget Speech by the former President when he was serving India as its Finance Minister.

P Chidambaram (2013-14): "Kalangathu kanda vinaikkan thulangkathu thookkang kadinthu seyal", it is a couplet from Thirukural, a classic Tamil text. It translates to be - What eye discerns as right, with a steadfast will and mind unslumbering, that should man fulfil.

Arun Jaitley (2015-16): "Kuchh to gul khilaye hain, kuchh abhi khilaane hain, par baagh mein ab bhi kaante kuchh puraane hain". It translates to be - We have made few flowers to bloom and others will bloom soon, but at present, the garden is full of several old thrones.

Arun Jaitley (2016-17): "Kashti chalaane walon ne jab haar kar di patwar hamein, lehar lehar toofan mile aur mauj mauj manjdhaar hamein. Phir bhi dikhaya hei hamane aur phir yeh dikha denge sabko, in halato mein aata hai daria karna paar hame". It translates to be - When the exhausted sailors handed the boat's oar in our hands, we were surrounded by storms and rapids. But we successfully showed around and will keep on showing as we know how to cross the river in such conditions.

Arun Jaitley (2017-18): "Hum Agey Agey Chalte Hai, Ayie Aap". It translates to be - We are ahead of you, please follow us.

Arun Jaitley (2018-19): He used a verse from 'Memoirs of European Travel' by Swami Vivekananda and it says, "You merge yourselves in the void and disappear, and let new India arise in your place. Let her arise – out of the peasants' cottage, grasping the plough; out of the huts of the fisherman. Let her spring from the grocer's shop, from beside the oven of the fritter-seller. Let her emanate from the factory, from marts, and markets. Let her emerge from groves and forests, from hills and mountains''. The verse was used with a hope to create a 'New India'.

Piyush Goyal (Interim Budget 2019-20): He quoted a couplet translated from Marathi poem, "Ek paanv rakhta hoon, Hazarein Rahein Phoot Padeti Hai". It translates to be - Every step we take opens up a thousand new paths forward.

Nirmala Sitharaman (2019-20): She recited poetry and couplets in her budget speeches by quoting lines by Chanakya and late Urdu poet Manzoor Hashmi. She quoted a sutra from Chanakya, "Kaarya purusha kare na lakshyam sampa dayate", which translates to be - If we have determined efforts, the task will surely be completed. The couplet from Hashmi, "Yaqin ho to koi rasta nikalta hai, hava ki ot bhi le kar chirag jalta hai", which translates to be - if there is belief then a road ahead will open up, sheltered from the winds the lamp will burn brightly."

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