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Updated on: Saturday, February 01, 2020, 03:19 PM IST

Budget 2020: Nirmala Sitharaman's 'Saraswati-Sindhu' civilisation remark sparks off Twitter debate

This was the second budget for Sitharaman, who became the second woman finance minister after Indira Gandhi to do so in the history of independent India.
Nirmala Sitharaman | PTI Photo

Nirmala Sitharaman | PTI Photo

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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday presented the Union Budget 2020 in the Parliament. In her speech, she made references to 'Saraswati-Sindhu' civilisation and claimed the word "Sreni (guilds)" was written on a Harappan seal.

To make a point that entrepreneurship has always existed in India, she said that trade and commerce have been in India since the Harappan civilisation.

Nirmala Sitharaman also announced five archaeological sites- Rakhigarhi in Haryana, Hastinapore in Uttar Pradesh, Shiv Sagar in Assam, Dholavira in Gujarat and Adichannalur in Tamil Nadu - would be developed as iconic sites with on-site museums.

However, Sitharaman's mentioning of 'Saraswati-Sindhu' civilisation sparked off a debate on Twitter. A user wrote, "FM is speaking about the meaning of Harappa Civilization's hieroglyphs and how they refer to economy and trade. But, the Harappan Script has not been deciphered yet despite a century of continuous and excruciating efforts. Am I missing something here?"

"The term β€˜Sindhu-Sarasvati Civilisation’ has probably been used in a Govt Budget for the first time ever. A small step, but an extremely significant one. Add to that the Museum at Rakhigarhi, Hastinapur, and Dholavira. Kudos to @nsitharaman," another user wrote.

Here is how Twitter reacted:

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During her opening remarks, Sitharaman, quoted a verse by Kashmiri Pandit poet, Zinda Kaul.

Translated to Hindi, she said, "Humara watan khilte hue Shalimar bagh jaise, humara watan Dal lake mein khilte hue kamal jaisa, nau jawanon ke garam khoon jaisa, mera watan tera watan, humara watan, duniya ka sabse pyara watan".

This was the second budget for Sitharaman, who became the second woman finance minister after Indira Gandhi to do so in the history of independent India. This was also the first budget of the second term of the Narendra Modi government.

Like last year, Sitharaman opted for a traditional 'bahi-khata' to carry budget documents. Dressed in a crisp yellow silk saree, the minister carried the documents wrapped in a red silk cloth, adorned with the Indian emblem in golden.

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Published on: Saturday, February 01, 2020, 02:57 PM IST
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