Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, probably for the first time, opened up about her conduct in speaking Hindi. Drawing major attention, Nirmala Sitharaman divulged that she speaks the country's official language with hesitation and recalled her college days in Tamil Nadu.
The Union Finance Minister was addressing an event organized by the Hindi Vivek Magazine on Thursday during which she said, "Addressing an audience in Hindi gives me shivers." She went on to open up about what led to this condition. Nirmala Sitharaman said she was born and attended college in Tamil Nadu during the time when there was a strong agitation against Hindi in the state.
By citing that there were violent protests against Hindi in the state, the Union Finance Minister claimed that students opting for either Hindi or Sanskrit as the second language didn't get scholarships from the state government though there were placed on Merit lists. She noted that the scholarships were denied by the government due to their choices of languages.
She said, "I speak Hindi with a lot of hesitation", and went on to admit that her fluency in speaking Hindi is affected. In the midst of such admission, Nirmala Sitharaman continued speaking in Hindi and finished the entire speech in Hindi. Her speech lasted for over thirty minutes and she further spoke about the state of the Indian economy.
Quoting the recent surge for the economy in the global ranking, Nirmala Sitharaman said India could have achieved the position as the fifth-biggest economy in the world earlier itself, but for the imported philosophy of socialism which depended on centralised planning. She claimed that the 1991 economic reforms undertaken by the then Congress government as half-baked reforms, where the economy was not opened in the right way but as per the structures imposed by the IMF.
She noted that there was no progress in the economy until BJP's Atal Bihari Vajpayee became the Prime Minister and formed the government. The Union Finance Minister cited that Vajpayee's focus on infrastructure building, roads, and mobile telephony helped us a lot. She further blamed the UPA regime for keeping its focus on making personal gains.
Praising the current rule, Nirmala Sitharaman said Prime Minister Narendra Modi initiated fundamental path-breaking reforms which also include the direct benefit transfer scheme that has ensured transparency in public delivery without leakages and added that benefits of up to Rs 2 lakh crore have occurred as a result of the scheme.