February 1, 2021 3:11:29 pm
Keeping with the tradition of reciting couplets during the budget session, this time too Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman invoked legendary poets by including their verses in her Budget speech 2021.
Towards the beginning, Sitharaman read out a couplet by Rabindranath Tagore: “Faith is the bird that feels the light/and sings when the dawn is still dark.”
The lines are from Tagore’s poem titled Fireflies, translated from bilingual Lekhan (1926). “My fancies are fireflies,-/ Specks of living light/twinkling in the dark,” reads the first verse. The poet wrote it during his stay in Balatonfüred in Hungary, as he mentions in the introduction of the poem, while he was reportedly undergoing treatment for heart disease.
“The lines in the following page have their origin in China and Japan where the author was asked for his writings on fans or pieces of silk,” writes Tagore in the introduction, dated November 7, 1926.
Not just Tagore, Sitharaman also recited a couplet from Thirukkural: “A King/Ruler is the one who creates and acquires wealth,/protects and distributes it for common good.”
Penned by Thiruvalluvar, this is taken from the classic Tamil text consisting of 1,330 short couplets of seven words each, divided into 133 chapters. The text is divided into three books with teachings on virtue, wealth and love.
The origin of the text has been dated variously between 300 BCE and 5th century CE. It is considered a significant work on ethics and morality.
While the work is attributed to Thiruvalluvar, not much authentic information is available on the author. The name was first mentioned in the later era text Tiruvalluva Maalai, a Shaivite Hindu text but it does not mention anything about Valluvar’s birth, family, or background.
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