There was something significantly symbolic in Nirmala Sitharaman’s decision to jettison the briefcase, that finance ministers have traditionally used to ferry Budget papers for decades, in favour of a red silk bahi-khata.
It prompted Chief Economic Advisor, Krishnamurthy Subramanian, to call it a departure from the ‘slavery of Western thought’. Subramanian’s Eco Survey, the previous day, had already given glimpses of ‘Indian tradition’ by invoking religious tracts to nudge changes in the Indian tax-payer’s behaviour.
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