In her two and a half-hour budget speech, Nirmala Sitharaman included some of the finest pieces of writing by prominent poets. She selected Pandit Dina Nath Kaul’s poem, Myon Vatan, meaning My Motherland. Pt. Dina Nath was a 20th century Kashmiri poet. She also included Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar’s philosophy in her budget speech.
The Hindi translation of the verse that Sitharaman recited from Pt. Dina Nath’s poem is:
“Hamara vatan, khilte hue Shalimar Bagh jaisa
Hamara vatan, Dal jheel main khilte hue kamal jaisa
Nau jawanon ke garam khoon jaisa
Mera vatan, tera vata, hamara vatan
Duniya ka sabse pyaara vatan”
In English, the above verse translates to:
“Our country is like the blooming Shalimar Bagh
Our country is like a lotus blooming in the Dal Lake
It is like the hot blood of the youth
My country, your country, our country is the most beloved among all”
In reference to Pandit Dina Nath Kaul’s verse, Nirmala Sitharaman said, “Everything that the government does and aims to do is for this pyaara vatan (beloved country).”
Tamil poet and philosopher Thiruvalluvar’s philosophy also made its way to the budget 2020 speech. Sitharaman shared Thiruvalluvar’s philosophy on “what a good country is”. She recited the piece of writing in Tamil first and then translated it to English.
Quoting Thirukkural’s ‘Piniyinmai Selvam Vilaivinpam Emam
Aniyenpa Naattiv Vaindhu’, Sitharaman shared the five “jewels” that a “good country” needs to possess. In English, the three “jewels” mentioned by Thirukkural translate to: without epidemic or illness, possess wealth, ample farm productivity or crop, happiness and national security.
Sitharaman said that the Union government has been successful in providing India with the “jewels” mentioned by Thirukkural by the means of schemes like ‘Ayushman Bharat’, and various others. She added that national security is the Central government’s top priority.
To keep up with the tradition of reciting poetry while delivering the Budget speech, Sitharaman decided to include two fine pieces of writing, by a Kashmiri poet and a Tamil poet each. This can be symbolic of ‘unity in diversity’.