Quotes, one liners, filmy dialogues, you name it — when it comes to the budget speech, finance ministers of India have always been on a roll.
Every finance minister in his budget speech has quoted some or the other famous personality, books written famous personalities, or even dead poets. And, the budget quote is serous business, after all why do people use quotes? Primarily to bring out a message or even to emphasize a crucial point. And at times, it is a wonderful insight into their personal philosophies as administrators.
Here is a compilation of few budget quotes from the ministers from MOF on North block.
2012-2013 (Pranab Mukherjee):
As Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark, had said in Shakespeare’s immortal words, “I must be cruel only to be kind.”
2010-2011 (Pranab Mukherjee):
Kautilya: Thus, a wise Collector General shall conduct the work of revenue collection… in a manner that production and consumption should not be injuriously affected… financial prosperity depends on public prosperity, abundance of harvest and prosperity of commerce among other things.”
Kautilya was prime minister in court of King Chandragupta Maurya, in fourth century Before Christ. And this wasn’t the first time FM quoted the former fourth century PM, prior to that in mid eighties, Kautilya was quoted in the budget speech.
2009-2010 (Pranab Mukherjee)
Prof Amartya Sen’s observation and I quote “along with old slogan of ‘growth with equity’, we also need a new commitment towards ‘down turn with security’, given the fact that occasional downturns are common — possibly inescapable — in market economies” unquote.
2008-2009 (P Chidambaram)
Indira Gandhi: “The more one does, the more one attempts, the more one is capable of doing”.
2007-2008 (P Chidambaram)
Jawaharlal Nehru, who said “Everything else can wait, but not agriculture”. As Dr Muhammad Yunus, the Nobel laureate, said, “Faster growth rate is essential for faster reduction in poverty. There is no other trick to it.”
2005-2006 (P Chidambaram)
Saint Tiruvalluvar: “Pini Inmai Selvam Vilaivu Inbam Emam Ani Enba Nattirkku Iv Iyndhu” which in English means Health, wealth, produce, the happiness that is the result, and security. These five, the learned say, are the ornaments of a polity
2004-2005 (Jaswant Singh)
“Garib ke pet me dana, Grihini ki tukia mein anna.” Quoting self.
1999-2000 (Yashwant Sinha)
Atal Behari Vajpayee – With dreams of prosperity and marching at a stormy pace, the tide of patriotism will not recede. Let the courageous come forward to join me.
And addressing the entertainment industry this former FM said: Let me assure you that it will be our endeavor to support the entertainment industry “Dil Se”, and I am sure that no longer would the industry have to ask the government, “Hum Aap Ke Hai Kaun’?
1998-1999 (Yashwant Sinha)
Ramdhari Singh Dinkar: Rise O’ warrior march ahead undaunted, You are the Creator of future history, The stars of the dark night are fading, The whole sky belongs to you. Dinkar was an Indian Hindi poet, essayist, patriot and academic.
And lastly, when current PM and former FM Manmohan Singh was the FM in 1991, he quoted Urdu Poet Iqbal.
“Yunaan-o-Misr-o-Roma, sab mitt gaye jahaan say/Ab tak magar hai baqi, naam-o-nishan hamara (the past glory of ancient Greece, ancient Egypt, ancient Rome are all dust/But our India—ancient, unchanged, alive — lives forever).”
Let’s see whom the current FM will quote this February. Any guesses?