On May 13, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman along with MoS Anurag Thakur addressed the nation to announce the first batch of schemes under the "Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan" announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday.
The union minister laid out the first tranch of the massive Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus package intended to infuse life into the Indian economy and help out micro, medium, and small industries as well as private employers and employees. But what caught the internet's eye was the government's keen attention this time to previous complaints regarding its use of only Hindi in making official announcements.
Following PM Modi's 8 pm address in Hindi, there was a spike in Google searches for tough Hindi words like "atmanirbhar", especially from Southern states. Several non-Hindi speaking Indians also took to social media to demand translations. And it looks like the finance ministry heard them.
Sitharaman on Wednesday started her speech by explaining the meaning of 'atmanirbhar', meaning self-reliant, in different languages including four South Indian languages - Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada. "I know coming from South India, a lot of people wondered what it actually meant," she said while explaining the meaning.
Not just that, she and MoS Anurag Thakur took turns in explaining each point first in English while Thakur translated in Hindi.
Many on social media appreciated the additional touch.
You can take a dig at South Indians but we are grateful for the translations— Shilpa Rathnam (@shilparathnam) May 13, 2020
@nsitharaman says coming from south India, i know some people were wondering what aatmanirbhar means and translates the word into 4 south Indian languages. Have to give it to this woman— Aditya Bharadwaj ஆதித்யா பாரத்வாஜ் ആദിത്യ ഭരദ്വാജ് (@UltimAddy) May 13, 2020
"I know coming from South India, a lot of people wondered what it actually meant." Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on the Hindi word "atmanirbhar" (self-reliant) used repeatedly by the Prime Minister last night. She translates it into Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada.— Joanna Slater (@jslaternyc) May 13, 2020
First the translation of term #atmanirbharbharat in 4 south-Indian languages.— Critic (@k_critic) May 13, 2020
The while many thanked the union minister and MoS for their translations, the linguistic outreach also inspired memes.