From poetry to divinity, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made sure that her maiden Budget speech on Friday was interspersed with couplets and quotes.
While speaking in the Lok Sabha, Sitharaman quoted Urdu poet Manzoor Hashmi, Chankaya, Swami Vivekananda and Lord Basaveshwara's couplets and teachings in the House.
Starting her maiden Budget speech, she recited a Hashmi's couplet, "Yakeen ho toh koi rasta nikalta hai, hawa ki to kar bhi chiraag jalta hai" (you find ways somehow if you have faith. The lamp burns bright even in gushing wind).
Her words were received with appreciation by lawmakers.
Affirming faith in the Budget presented by her, Sitharaman also quoted Chanakya Neeti saying, "Kaarya purusha kare na lakshyam sampa dayate" (with determined human efforts, the task will surely be completed).
She made the reference while speaking of India's target of becoming a $5 trillion economy in the next few years. She added that people wonder and doubt if the goal can be achieved.
Giving stress on the significance of women empowerment, the Minister quoted Swami Vivekananda, "There is no chance of the welfare of the world unless the condition of women is improved. It is not possible for a bird to fly on one wing."
She invoked 12th-century social reformer and thinker Lord Basaveshwara's principles and said, "Our government recognizes and follows the teachings of Lord Basaveshwara who preached 'Kayakave Kailasa'." (work is worship).
Lord Basaveshwara was the one who first established the concept of 'Kalyana Rajya' (welfare state).
While speaking on taxation, Sitharaman also quoted Sangam era Tamil classic's Yaanai Pugundha Nilam written by Pisirandhayar in Puranaanuru.
What the minister said in Tamil translates to, 'An elephant will be happy to have two mounds of rice from a paddy field. But if it enters the land, it will have far less to eat than it will trample.'
"This is the principle we will follow in taxation. We will be happy to collect only that much taxes that is necessary from the taxpayer. We will not trample on the taxpayer," she said.
Breaking the tradition of carrying a briefcase to Parliament for presenting the Budget, she posed outside the House with a ledger book instead. Sitharaman's parents were also present in the Lok Sabha when she was presenting the Budget.
This is the 89th Union Budget.
Photograph: ANI Photo.