Covering the Union Budget is such a ritualised process for newspapers. Year after year, the format followed is the same.
Publishing the photograph of the Finance Minister arriving in Parliament to make his Budget speech, brief-case in hand, is an important Budget-day ritual. The cameras tend to focus more on the briefcase than on the FM. The next morning all papers have to compulsorily carry this photo.
As with many Indian Parliamentary traditions, this too was borrowed from the British, as is evident from this photo and description in “Iconic Photos”:
“The most important day in a chancellor’s calendar is of course the Budget Day, now set on a Wednesday in March. The night before, he would have a dinner with the monarch, who is the first person to be told on the new budget.
The next morning, he makes the short journey from Number 11 to the Commons after showing the assembled crowd the battered budget box. The beginning of this somewhat silly photo-op tradition dates from 1869 when Chancellor George Ward Hunt opened the Budget box in the Commons only to find that he had left his speech at home.
Why can't our FM go ethnic and carry the Budget papers in a jute bag?