Nirmala Sitharaman gives us ‘the first Budget of Amrit Kaal’: What does the term mean?
It is one of the buzzwords of the Union Budget 2023-2024. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman mentioned it more than once in her 87-minute speech, as she spoke about a ‘futuristic Amrit Kaal’. The Vedic-era term was first used by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his 75th Independence Day speech
FP Explainers Last Updated:February 01, 2023 15:57:20 IST
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, poses holding a pouch containing a digital tablet ahead of Budget 2023. AP
Union Budget 2023-2024 has a lexicon of its own. And if there is one word that came up time and again in Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s 87-minute speech it was “Amrit Kaal”. She started her speech by calling the government’s financial statement “the first Budget of Amrit Kaal”.
“This is the first budget in Amrit Kaal, this budget hopes to build on the foundation laid in the previous budget and the blueprint laid for India@100, we envision a prosperous and inclusive India in which the fruits of development reach all,” Sitharaman said.
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What is Amrit Kaal?
The term refers to a golden age, one that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government is promising. It can be traced back to Vedic astrology. It is the time when the gates of greater pleasure open for angels, humans and non-humans. It’s considered the ideal and auspicious time to start something new.
How did Amrit Kaal enter our political lexicon?
It was first used by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2021 during the 75th Independence Day celebrations. Delivering the speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort in New Delhi, he said, “The goal of ‘Amrit Kaal’ is to ascend to new heights of prosperity for India and the citizens of India.”
Laying out the roadmap for India, he added, “Amrit Kaal is for the next 25 years…”. PM’s vision of this upcoming good time includes “improving the lives of its citizens, reducing the divide between the villages and cities, lessening the government’s interference in people’s lives and building modern infrastructure in India”.
He called this period a “culmination of hard work, sacrifice, and austerity”, saying that the next 25 years were to get back what India has lost in hundreds of years of slavery.
The Budget promises a futuristic ‘Amrit Kaal’ for women, youth and marginalised communities. AFP
“While India has made rapid strides, there should be a ‘saturation’ of development and 100 per cent accomplishments with every village having roads, every family having a bank account, every eligible person having health insurance, card and gas connection,” Modi said.
He reportedly used the word Amrit Kaal 14 times during the I-Day speech, according to Bloomberg.
In a recent interaction, the PM said, “The youth truly represents the nation’s dreams and aspirations in the ‘Amrit Kaal’ of its independence.”
What did Sitharaman have to say about Amrit Kaal?
In her Budget 2023 speech, Sitharaman said, “This Budget lays a futuristic ‘Amrit Kaal’ for women, youth and marginalised communities, big public investment for infrastructure guided by PM Gati Shakti, productivity enhancement, energy transition and climate action and financing of investments.”
She also went on to add, “Our vision for the Amrit Kaal includes a technology-driven and knowledge-based economy, with strong public finances and a robust financial sector. To achieve this ‘janbhagidari’ through ‘sabka saath, sabka prayaas’ is essential.”
Have other leaders used the term?
Yes, It’s on its way to becoming as popular as Aatmanirbhar, we say.
On 31 January, Rashtrapati Bhavan tweeted its vision for “Amrit Kaal”. “This ‘Amrit Kaal’ of 25 years is the period of the golden centenary of independence and the making of a developed India. This 25-year span is for all of us and for every citizen of the country to perform our duties to the utmost levels,” President Droupadi Murmu said in her address to both Houses of Parliament.
“The country is moving ahead with the inspiration of ‘Panch Prāns’ in the Amrit Kaal of independence. My government is constantly trying to get rid of every sign of ‘slave mentality’. What was once Rajpath is now the Kartavya Path,” she said.
In the run-up to the 2024 elections, there’s going to be a lot more focus on Amrit Kaal. It could just become the new “acche din”, a promise for a better future, where India is prosperous, just, and self-reliant.
With inputs from agencies