Nirmala Sitharaman

Justice Markandey Katju

Budget 2020 : ‘The poets Nirmala Sitharaman did not cite’, Justice katju points out

By Justice Markandey Katju (Former Judge, Supreme Court of India) The Union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, has displayed her fantastic erudition by quoting several poets—Kashmiri poet Dinananath Kaul Nadeem, Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar, Sanskrit poet Kalidas, etc in her recent budget speech. However, I wish she had also quoted the following : Ved Vyas, who wrote about the upadesh given by Bheeshma Pitamah to Yudhishthir at the end of the Mahabharat war in the Shanti Parva about how a republic is destroyed : “ Bhedaad ganaah vinashyanti, bhinnaah supajapa paraih Tasmaat samaghata yogeshu prajataren ganaah sada “ I.e. “ Republics are destroyed only by internal dissensions among the people Therefore a king should always strive to maintain good relations among the people “.( Mahabharat Chapter 107/108, shloka 14 ). This shloka from the Mahabharat is especially relevant now when the ruling party, to which Nirmala belongs, has been polarizing society on religious lines, and terrorizing the minorities. This will surely lead to destruction of India, as Bheeshma Pitamah foretold. Tamil poet Subramaniam Bharathi who wrote : “ Muppadhu kodi mugamudayal Enil maipuram ondrudayal Ival seppumozhi padhinetu dayal Enil sindhanal ondrudayal “ i.e. “ This Bharat Mata has 30 crore faces, but her body is one She speaks 18 languages, but her thought is one “ This verse vividly describes a cardinal feature of India, that is, its diversity and pluralism ( which is due to the fact that India is broadly a country of immigrants, like North America, as explained in my article ‘What is India’ ). The philosophy of ‘Hindutva’, in the form propagated by our present rulers, which polarises and divides Indian society, and seeks to impose one religion as the dominant one,  goes against the very nature and identity of India. Urdu poet Firaq Gorakhpuri’s sher : “ Sar zameen-e-Hind par aqwaam-e-aalam ke Firaq Qafile aate gaye, Hindustan banta gaya “ i.e. “ In the land of Hind, the caravans of the people of the world Kept coming in, and India kept getting formed This sher gives the reasons for India’s diversity, that is, it is a country…