The annual budget is a big event in India, but ministers’ speeches on the budget can be mighty boring. From Shakespeare to Bollywood, ministers have used all kinds of popular and esoteric sources to make their points. Whether that has helped is up to you. Here are a few examples from recent years:
President Pranab Mukherjee is a veteran Congress politician and has presented the last four budgets. His favourite authority to quote has been Kautilya, the great Indian pioneer of economics and politics who was prime minister in the court of King Chandragupta Maurya in the fourth century BC. Mukherjee quoted Kautilya in his first budget speech in 1984 and as recently as in 2010.
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
He invoked Lord Indra, the Hindu rain god, and prayed to the goddess of wealth Lakshmi in 2011:
While, like last year, I seek the blessings of Lord Indra to bestow on us timely and bountiful monsoons, I would pray to Goddess Lakshmi as well. I think it is a good strategy to diversify one’s risks