Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said one of his regrets in his life is not learning the “world’s oldest language” Tamil, adding that the literature and poetry in Tamil is beautiful.
The prime minister was answering a question by a listener, Aparna Reddy, who asked him if there was anything he regretted during his long political career during his monthly ‘Mann Ki Baat’ broadcast on Sunday.
“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,” he said.
It may be noted that the remarks come just weeks ahead of the state of Tamil Nadu Assembly elections on April 6. However, this is not the first time Modi has used Tamil in his speeches.
In 2019, in an address to the United Nations, the PM had quoted Tamil philosopher-poet Kaniyan Pungundranar to convey his message on India's civilisational instinct to always look beyond its borders.
“Three thousand years ago, a great poet of India, Kaniyan Pungundranar, wrote in Tamil, the most ancient language of the world, 'Yaadhum Oore Yaavarum Kelir', which means, 'We belong to all places and to everyone'. This sense of belonging beyond borders, is unique to India,” he had said at the 74th UN General Assembly in New York.
Earlier in 2018, too, Modi had said that he regretted not being able to speak Tamil.