Couplets bring life to the Budget sessions
Reading couplets has become an unwritten custom for this annual event
By Jitesh Kumar Jha
In past two-and-a-half decades, we have seen our finance ministers reciting couplets during the presentation of the annual Budget in Parliament.
Hope that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley too will not disappoint us by not reading couplets during the Budget presentation today.
In fact, reading couplets has become an unwritten custom for this event. Finance Ministers either open or end the Budget with a verse.
At a time when we are talking about the use of couplets and verses during the presentation of the Budget, you should be informed about the person who started this custom.
Undoubtedly, Manmohan Singh is the person who started this custom of use of couplets. Manmohan Singh, who later served as Prime Minister, started the custom in 1990's as the finance minister of India.
Singh's first couplet during the presentation of Union Budget read "Yunnan-o-Misr-o-Rom sab mit gaye jahaan say. Ab tak magar hai baaki, naam-o-nishan hamara." This couplet was used during presentation of Union Budget 1991-92. The couplet means old civilisations of Greece, Egypt and Rome have vanished from the earth. There is some reason that our civilisation is still alive.
While presenting the Union Budget 1992-93, Manmohan Singh used the verse, "Kuchh aise bhee manzar hain taareekh ki nazron mein, Lamhon ne khataa ki thi, sadiyon ne sazaa paayee." This means, "there are dates in history that say mistakes made at some point of time create trouble for centuries".
Some of the couplets that were used on the occasion of Budget presentation are:
Yashwant Sinha used certain verses during the presentation of Budgets for the financial year 2001-02 and 2004-05.
The two verses were:
While presenting Union Budget 2001-02, Yashwant Sinha cited "Taqaazaa hai waqt kaa ke toofaan se joojho, kahaan tak chaloge kinaare kinaare" (it is a time to fight the storms, how long you will keep walking at the corners).
While presenting Union Budget 2004-05, Yashwant Sinha recited "Garib ke pet mein dana, Grihini ki tukia mein anna (food in the belly of poor and money in the purse of the housewife).
P Chidambaram used the verse "Kalangathu kanda vinaikkan thulangkathu thookkang kadinthu seyal" during the presentation of the Union Budget 2013-14 (what clearly eye discerns as right, with steadfast will and mind unslumbering, that should man fulfill).
Arun Jaitley has also used couplets on two occassions -- Union budget 2015-16 and 2016-17.
While presenting Union Budget 2015-16, Jaitley said "Kuchh to gul khilaye hain, kuchh abhi khilaane hain, par baagh mein ab bhi kaante kuchh puraane hain" (This translates to be ''we have made few flowers to bloom and others will bloom soon, but at present, the garden is full of several old thrones).
While presenting Union Budget 2016-17, Jaitly said, "Kashti chalaane walon ne jab haar kar di patwar hamein, lehar lehar toofan mile aur mauj mauj manjdhaar hamein. Phir bhi dikhaya hei hamane aur phir yeh dikha denge sabko, in halato mein aata hai daria karna paar hame" (when the exhausted sailors handed the boat's oar in our hands, we were surrounded by storms and rapids. But we successfully showed around and will keep on showing as we know how to cross the river in such conditions).
Jaitley also recited a couplet while presenting the Union Budget 2017-18 by using a Hindi verse "hum agey agey hai, ayie aap" (We are ahead of you, please follow us).