Naari Tu Narayaani To Gandhipedia: Key Takeaways From Budget 2019

Modi 2.0’s budget is here. And like ever before, it is a budget that is received with optimism and fast becoming the current topic of discourse. However, this budget presented by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is quite interesting in certain facets of it. Aside from Nari Shakti actually exercising said shakti, and the adorable moment of the finance minister’s parents attending the parliament as their daughter presents her maiden budget, it has been an eventful session.

The day began with Ms. Sitharaman walking the iconic walk to the parliament, but with an intriguing accessory that was a far departure from the usual briefcase that all past Prime Ministers have sported. This time there was a Bahi Khata. This change denoted discarding the age-old colonial practice and embracing the traditional bookkeeping that Indian business-people did. However this wasn’t the only seemingly iconic stance of Sitharaman. Her maiden speech was annotated by multiple references to women empowerment and liberation. “There is no chance for the welfare of the world unless the condition of women is improved. It is not possible for a bird to fly on one wing”- Sitharaman evoked this quote from a letter that Swami Vivekananda to Swami Ramakrishnanda. This gave space to the finance minister calling out the adage of Naari Tu Narayaani, something that would be reflective as the budget included schemes and opportunities for increased women entrepreneurship.

The budget also included a plan to ensure Har Ghar Jal, to have all rural homes equipped with water by 2024; in a bid to also improve the quality of the environment, E vehicle parts are to get cheaper – which is an important step as environmental policies are integral in today’s volatile climate.

But perhaps the most pertinent step taken in the budget is the institutionalization of Gandhipedia, a repository of information on Mahatma Gandhi. In order to sensitize a dwindling society as it were, the creation of Gandhipedia will conjure and recall the values of the Mahatma to assert his ever-needed relevance in the society, and also improve upon the plight that plagues our constitutional tenets.

The budget is always a mixed bag of positives, negatives, and ambiguities – however here is hoping that the promises put out through tangible elements prove to be for the larger benefit of our country’s individuals.



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