Chennai: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman caught the attention of all the MPs when she quoted a poem in Tamil by Pisirandhaiyar while tabling the Union Budget this morning.
It was a Purananuru poem of the Sangam era, where Pisirandhaiyar advises the Pandya king on levying tax.
Nirmala explained that the Yanai Puguntha Nilam verse was a long one, so she was giving only the operative parts.
She read out the poem in Tamil, which brought out smiles even among the DMK MPs.
“I find wisdom in a line from Purananooru which is a Sangam time Tamil literature piece. This is about a land where elephants gets into it and the line was sung to King Pandian Arivudainambi by Pisiranthaiyar,” she said.
Translating the poem, she said a few mounds of rice would be sufficient for an elephant. But if the elephant enters the field, it will eat far less than what it tramples under its foot, she said.
“The advice given to Pandian is valuable advice that this government appreciates. The meaning is clear, and we don’t intend to trample anybody,” said the Finance Minister.
This was followed by thumping of desks by treasury benches.