In his Budget speech, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal committed a faux pas. Surprisingly, nobody has noticed it despite, the entire country watching, scrutinizing, and debating the minutest aspects of the Budget, its presentation, on what was said and why. It seems Goyal is not sure as to how many directions there are.
While elucidating his ‘Vision for the next Decade,’ he said his Budget speech, “In the Indian ethos, anything which is good is supposed to bestow, cause, create and do good in all ten directions. I will, therefore, layout our vision for ten most important dimensions in 2030.” Then he repeated it in Hindi, “Kuchh achha kaam karo to chaaron dishaon mein woh failna chahiye…” (When you do anything good, it shold spread in all the four directions). But Mr. Minister, how many directions are there? Ten, as you said in English, or four, as you said in Hindi?
It may be mentioned here that the concept of ten directions has its origins in the Rig Veda. The famous Purusha Sukta from the scripture says, “The Purusha (Supreme Being) who has thousands of heads, thousands of eyes and thousands of feet enveloped the earth on all sides and stood beyond it in ten directions of space. All this is Purusha only…”
Looks like the speechwriter had the scripture in his mind, while Goyal, focused as he was on mundane matters, couldn’t grasp the poetical-mystical import of the written word. So, in Hindi, he talked about four directions.
There is an interesting story about the number of directions. In the Raj Kapoor-Nargis starrer Shri 420, there is a famous song, “Pyaar huaa iqaraar huaa hai/Pyaar se phir kyo darataa hai dil…”
It was written by Shailendra, whereas it was set to tune by the Shankar-Jaikishan.
In the last stanza, there is a line “Raato daso dishaao se, kahegi apani kahaaniyaan.” In his radio show, Annu Kapoor recently mentioned that the music directors fiercely argued with Shailendra that directions were four and ten, but he remained firm on ten. Ultimately, the song was sung as it was written, without any alteration.
Finance Minister Goyal should watch the song—for both recreation and clarity.