Budget 2023: What Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's red saree signifies
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is known for her love for handloom. For Budget 2023, she kept it simple, donning a red saree with a gold and black border
Vibhuti Sanchala Last Updated:February 01, 2023 12:29:06 IST
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman (C) poses for a photograph as she leaves the Finance ministry to present the Union Budget 2023. AFP
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is one of the most inspiring women in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 2.0 cabinet in many ways.
Besides being the first full-time female Defense Minister, she has built a name for herself since delivering her maiden Budget speech in 2019.
All eyes are on Sitharaman today as she presents her fifth Union Budget 2023.
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Many people were waiting to see which signature saree the Minister choose for her final Budget before the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections in 2024.
On Wednesday, the Minister happily posed with her famed Budget ‘bahi khata’ for the reporters stationed outside the Lok Sabha after introducing the Finance Bill 2023. At the Rashtrapati Bhavan, she also met President Droupadi Murmu.
Let us understand why Sitharaman’s red saree is significant.
Nirmala Sitharaman’s resplendent red saree for Union Budget 2023
Since this is the final complete Budget of PM Modi’s second term, Nirmala Sitharaman chose the shade of prosperity, hope, and change.
This year, the economist kept her look simple and exquisite, choosing a magnificent red silk saree with a black and gold border design. Her saree was covered in pastel-coloured flower designs.
The red colour represents love, commitment, strength, and bravery. In Hindu tradition, red is typically associated with Goddess Durga, the embodiment of female strength and power, as per Financial Express.
The Finance Minister’s love for handloom sarees
Nirmala Sitharaman is well-known for her enthusiasm for Indian textiles. Her handloom and silk sarees are the highlights of Sitharaman’s personality.
She has always been an advocate for the locals, promoting handloom sarees during her Budget sessions every year. According to news outlet India Posts, she is mostly seen wearing Sambalpuri, Ikat, and Kanjeevaram sarees on special occasions, avoiding black colour.
Despite becoming a full-time Finance Minister, Sitharaman’s style remained consistent. She has expressed her love for handloom sarees numerous times on social media. She even admitted that she has been wearing handloom sarees “since college.”
In 2019, she replied to a tweet by saying, “Silk or cotton, Orissa-handloom sarees are one of my favourites – the colour, the weave, the texture, just so good. (sic).”
In August 2020, celebrating National Handloom Day, the 63-year-old Minister said, “The Swadeshi Movement on this day in 1905. Now, National Handloom Day. India has a unique repertoire in handloom – cotton, silk, wool, jute, and banana fibre. Ubiquitous yet distinct. Worn only handloom since college. Mangalagiri, Manipuri, Pochampally, Benarasi, Sambalpuri, and more.”
Sitharaman’s sartorial choices over the years
In 2019, Sitharaman made a confident maiden statement in a bright pink mangalgiri silk saree with a gold border while presenting the Union Budget 2019. She also broke with tradition by using a traditional ‘bahi khata’ with the national emblem embossed on top to wrap the Budget papers instead of a briefcase.
Sitharaman made a confident statement in a bright pink mangalgiri silk saree with a gold border while presenting her maiden Budget in 2019. AFP
Besides the 2020 Budget speech, Sitharaman has donned red hues for the majority of her Budget speeches, as per Economic Times.
During the bleak pandemic year, she chose a pristine yellow-gold saree with a blue border, an auspicious colour that represents prosperity and abundance, as per News18. The report suggests the colour was in keeping with the ‘Aspirational India’ theme of the year.
Yellow is an auspicious colour that represents prosperity and abundance. AFP
Sitharaman wore a red and off-white silk Pochampally sari with ikat motifs around the pallu and a green border in 2021. Pochampally ikat is traditionally created in Telangana’s Bhoodan Pochampally, which is renowned as the “silk city of India,” according to Indian Express.
Sitharaman wore a red and off-white silk Pochampally sari while presenting the Union Budget 2021. AFP
The Finance Minister donned a rust and maroon handloom Bomkai weave with silver thread work in the border while presenting the Budget in 2022.
Bomkai is traditionally made in Odisha. According to observers, the earthy colour and design represent the Minister’s emphasis on simplicity and grounding, as per News18.
The Finance Minister donned a rust and maroon handloom Bomkai weave with silver thread work in the border while presenting the Budget in 2022. AFP
Finance Minister presents the first Budget in ‘Amritkaal’
Nirmala Sitharaman is presenting the Union Budget 2023-24 in Parliament today, the last full Budget of the Modi government in its second term.
This year’s Budget holds much significance as the country is scheduled to have the next Lok Sabha election in April-May 2024.
As Sitharaman presents Union Budget 2023, she asserted that the Indian economy is on the right track, and heading towards a bright future.
“Indian economy on right track despite challenges, and is headed for a bright future. The world has recognized India as a bright star, our growth for the current year is estimated at 7.0 per cent, this is the highest among all major economies, in spite of the massive global slowdown caused by the pandemic and the war,” she said.
With inputs from agencies