Budget 2021: When Nirmala Sitharaman draped in a traditional Bengali saree quoted Tagore
''Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark'' - Rabindranath Tagore.
On Monday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, quoted these words of the great bard of Bengal, as she presented the Union Budget 2021. Apt words, given that the Indian economy is still in the dark, having slipped into recession last year, and the pandemic is still not over. However, as someone from West Bengal, one couldn't miss the subtle Bengali symbolisms to the budget this year, ahead of 2021 West Bengal Legislative Assembly elections.
The Bengali symbolisms were evident in this year's budget, ahead of the West Bengal Assembly Polls
White sarees with a broader red coloured border known as 'Laal-paad' sarees are generally worn during auspicious and cultural festivals in Bengal, especially during Durga Puja. The finance minister was seen donning a similar saree, as she presented India's first digital and paper-less budget.
Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Kolkata to celebrate 'Parakram Diwas' to commemorate birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. The prime minister himself has quoted Tagore often in his speeches, over the past one year.
As India tries to recover from the bruises of the pandemic, the finance minister said that this year's budget was based on six key pillars - a) Health and wellbeing; b) Infrastructure; c) Inclusive development; d) Development of human capital; e) R&D f) Minimum government, and maximum governance.
Despite the battered state of the economy, the finance minister said she was confident that the India is "fully prepared" for a recovery.
"Only three times, the Budget has followed a contraction in the Indian economy. This time, it's because of a global pandemic like in other countries. I want to confidently state that the government is fully prepared to support and facilitate the economic reset," she said.
For YourStory's multimedia coverage of Budget 2021, visit YourStory's Budget 2021 page or budget.yourstory.com