Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman dropped another crown jewel during her Union Budget 2020 address, as she mentioned Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar in the Lok Sabha on Saturday, February 1.
"I Fall back on the wise words of Thiruvalluvar. He has spoken about 'what a good country is' and 'what makes up for the jewels of a good country'." She then went on to read the original text in Tamil:
பிணி இன்மை செல்வம் விளைவு இன்பம் ஏமம்
அணி என்ப நாட்டிற்கு இவ் ஐந்து.
The quote translates to 'health, wealth, production, happiness and security, the five things a country needs'. This she says is what the late philosopher described as qualities that make a country good.
The Finance Minister asserted that these five qualities are being nurtured under PM Modi's leadership. Supporting her statements, she listed examples for them.
'Ayushman Bharat for health for all, wealth creators will be respected in the country, having good means of production due to PM-Kisan scheme, this leads to a surplus in horticulture, doubling of income, use of fertilizers and surplus growth. The Prime Minister's program had health, creating and respecting for wealth creators, increased agriculture output, and looking at ease of living, and bringing happiness to people. Above all, you have enough proof to say national security is the top priority of this government.'
If Thiruvalluvar identified 5 jewels for a good country, those 5 jewels are the ones which the Prime Minister is now addressing through his programs.
When talking about increasing measures for organic fertilisers, the Finance Minister also said ‘பூமி திருத்தி உண்’ which roughly translates to 'Cultivate the land and feed.
A celebrated Tamil poet and philosopher, known for his collection of couplets, Thirukkural, which address topics such as ethics, politics, economics, relationships, patriotism and religion. He is believed to have lived in Mylapore, a neighbourhood in the city of Chennai in Tamil Nadu. However, his floruit ranges greatly from anywhere between the 4th century CE to 6th century CE based on traditional accounts and linguistic analysis of his writings.
Credited to have influenced a wide range of scholars down the ages, he is venerated as a great sage for his literary works. His most famous work Tirukkural consists of 1,330 couplets and is divided into three books - each with aphoristic teachings on virtue, wealth and love. Written over 1,500 years ago, it is still today regarded as one of the greatest pieces of literature on ethics and morality.
Nirmala Sitharaman flagged off her Budget speech by giving three takeaways that would summarise the forward-looking budget for the upcoming year 2020-2021. She stated, 'The Budget is woven around three prominent themes, namely Aspirational India, Economic development, and lastly, a caring society.
This year's theme poses tremendous significance as the Indian economy continues to reel in multiple challenges, namely in the form of inflation, unemployment, farmer distress and a dip in GDP growth. The Finance Minister, while beginning her Budget speech, said the focus would be on increasing incomes and elevating purchasing power.