Finance Minister, In Budget Speech, Uses Kashmiri Verse To Make A Point

The tribute to Kashmir is significant after the government's massive move to end special status to Jammu and Kashmir last August.

Finance Minister, In Budget Speech, Uses Kashmiri Verse To Make A Point

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman listed out three major themes of the Budget today.

Highlights

  • The verse talked about the nation "blooming like a lotus in Dal lake"
  • Tribute to Kashmir significant after centre scrapped J&K's special status
  • J&K has been under restrictions since August last year
New Delhi:

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today recited a Kashmiri verse in the middle of her Budget 2020 announcement to demonstrate the inclusiveness of the country.

The verse, which talked about the nation "blooming like a lotus in Dal lake", was meant to convey that everything in the budget is for this "pyara watan (beloved nation)".

"Humara watan khilte hue Shalimar bagh jaise, humara watan Dal lake mein khilte hue kamal jaisa, nau jawanon ke garam khoon jaisa, mera watan tera watan, humara watan, duniya ka sabse pyara watan. (Our nation is like a blossoming garden, like a lotus blooming in Dal Lake, like the hot blood of the younger generation. My nation, your nation, the world's most loved nation)," says the poem by Pandit Dina Nath Kaul Nadim, a Sahitya Akademi award winner.

Dina Nath Kaul Nadim mostly wrote in the Kashmiri language and his first Kashmiri poem in 1942 was dedicated to the valley -- "Maej Kashir".

The tribute to Kashmir is significant after the government's massive move to end special status to Jammu and Kashmir last August. The restrictions in place since then, including a communications and internet lockdown, have been criticised not just in India but also in global forums like the UN and European parliament.

As Ms Sitharaman was reciting the verse, a voice from the opposition benches piped up and shouted: "Farooq Abdullah". The veteran National Conference MP and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister has been held in custody at his home in Srinagar for months. The opposition has demanded Mr Abdullah's release so he can attend parliament.

The Finance Minister said the three major themes of the Budget are aspirational India, a caring society and economic development for all.

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