‘Thirukkural’ makes a comeback

‘Thirukkural’ makes a comeback

After a gap of six years, Tamil poet-saint Thiruvalluvar’s verses made a comeback in the Union Budget speech with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman quoting a couplet from the world-famous Thirukkural.

Also, Nirmala, born in Tiruchirappalli in Tamil Nadu, quoted a line from Sangam-era Aathichudi written by woman saint-poet Avvaiyar in her more than 2-hour-long speech to stress on her government’s efforts towards revitalising the farm sector.

Former Union finance minister P Chidambaram, who had presented 11 budgets, was the first to introduce Thirukkural in the annual financial document in 1996 to drive home his point. Quoting Piniyinmai Selvam Vilaivinpam Emam Aniyenpa Naattiv Vaindhu which means freedom from illness, wealth, produce, happiness and protection (to subjects are the five ornaments of a kingdom), Nirmala said the Narendra Modi government has taken note of all “five jewels” mentioned by Thirukkural.

The five ornaments are Ayushman Bharat Yojana, special regard for wealth creators, Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi, ease of living and greater emphasis on national security.

She also turned to Avvaiyar, who had said bhumi tiruthi unn (one must eat only after work). Last year, Nirmala had quoted a famous poem from Sangam Era work Purananooru.

The top brass of the BJP government have been laying greater emphasis on Tamil in their speeches ever since the dispensation returned with a greater mandate in May 2019.

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