Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during the 74th edition of Mann ki Baat on Sunday, rued about not learning the Tamil language.
Calling Tamil the world’s oldest language and praising Tamil literature and poetry, PM Modi said it was one of his long-standing regrets in a long political career.
PM Modi said that in the run-up to the radio show, one listener, Aparna Reddy, had asked him if there was something he missed out on during these long years as Chief Minister and Prime Minister.
“I thought about the question and felt that – it is a regret of sorts that I could not learn the world’s oldest language, Tamil. It is a beautiful language and popular across the world. Many people told me about the qualities of Tamil literature and the depths of Tamil poetry,” PM Modi said. “India is the land of many such languages that are symbols of its culture and pride,” he added.
In 2018 too, the prime minister had publicly regretted not being able to speak Tamil. In an address to the United Nations in 2019, he had quoted Tamil philosopher-poet Kaniyan Pungundranar to convey his message on India’s civilisational instinct to always look beyond its borders.
Tamil Nadu will be going to polls on April 6. PM Modi’s BJP is in alliance with the ruling AIADMK which is looking for a third straight term this time. The two parties have begun seat-sharing talks.
PM Modi on Sunday addressed the 74th edition, second for 2021, of his monthly radio address and spoke about various issues concerning the nation including water conservation coronavirus, among others. The programme is held on the last Sunday of every month.