Ahead of the Assembly elections to be held in five states, including Tamil Nadu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief of not learning Tamil in his speech on the All India Radio, 'Mann Ki Baat'.
Modi said that not being able to learn Tamil was a long-standing sadness in his long political career. The poetry and literature in the world's oldest language are commendable, he said. Responding to a question by Aparna Reddy, he added that Tamil is a beautiful language that he couldn't learn in his busy political life as Chief Minister and Prime Minister. It's also a language known and spoken across the world, and many had told him about the excellence of Tamil literature, he said.
This is not the first time Modi has expressed his liking towards Tamil. Fragments of Tamil literature have also been opportunistically used in many speeches in Parliament.
In 2018, he had publicly expressed regret at not being able to speak Tamil. Tamil also came in when he addressed the UN General Assembly in New York. Additionally, Modi had held an informal summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mahabalipuram. He arrived wearing a Tamil style wearing veshti. Along with Tamil, it is also common for Modi to quote from other regional languages, including Malayalam.
The BJP has not yet been able to take root in Tamil Nadu, dominated by Dravidian culture. This time it is in alliance with the AIADMK for the upcoming Assembly elections. This episode of Modi's Mann Ki Baat focused on various topics such as rainwater harvesting and other Science Day specials. He also urged the people to remain vigilant against the spread of Covid 19.