Take pride in Tamil, says Modi

PM stresses language diversity of India.

February 27, 2022 05:06 pm | Updated 11:46 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. File

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. File | Photo Credit: PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that every citizen should be proud that the world’s oldest language, Tamil, is in India. Emphasising the importance of the mother tongue in his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ radio show, Mr. Modi said, “The mother and mother tongue, both together strengthen the foundation of life, lending it permanence. Just like we cannot abandon our mother, similarly, we cannot leave our mother tongue either.”

He said the country was proud to be associated with 121 forms of mother tongues, 14 of which are spoken by over one crore people in everyday life.

In 2019, Hindi was ranked third among the most spoken languages of the world. “Every Indian should be proud of this, too. Language is not just a medium of expression, but also serves to preserve the culture and heritage of society,” Mr. Modi said, highlighting the contribution of Surjan Parohi, a famous Hindi poet from Suriname, whose forefathers had gone there along with thousands of workers to earn a living.

He said the National Education Policy stressed the use of mother tongue and that the government was also making efforts to provide professional courses in regional languages.

On the measure to preserve heritage, the Prime Minister said that earlier this month, an over one-thousand-year old idol of Avalokiteshvara Padmapani, stolen earlier from a temple in Bihar's Gaya, had been returned to India from Italy. “Till 2013, nearly 13 idols had been brought back...but, in the last seven years, India has successfully brought back more than 200 precious idols. Many countries such as America, Britain, Holland, France, Canada, Germany, Singapore have understood this sentiment of India and helped us to retrieve these idols,” he said.

During his address, Mr. Modi also praised two Tanzanian siblings, Kili Paul and his sister Nima, who were passionate about Indian music. A few days ago, Kili was honoured at the Indian Embassy in Tanzania. Mr. Modi urged the youth to take similar initiatives and make videos of the popular songs of Indian languages in their own way.

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