In a veiled debate over linguistic diversity, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Tamil is eternal, and its culture is global. At an event in Chennai, he laid the foundation stone for development works worth over Rs. 31,000 crore.
“The Tamil language is eternal, and the Tamil culture is global. From Chennai to Canada, from Madurai to Malaysia, from Namakkal to New York and from Salem to South Africa, the occasions of Pongal and Puthandu are marked with great enthusiasm,” ANI quoted PM Modi as saying.
Hailing Tamil Nadu as a “special place”, PM Modi said, “The people, culture and language of Tamil Nadu are outstanding. In every field, someone or the other from the state is excelling. Out of 16 medals we won in Deaflympics, youngsters from Tamil Nadu had a role in six of those medals.”
Prime Minister Modi said that the government is fully committed to further popularising the Tamil language and culture. “In January this year, the new campus of the Central Institute of Classical Tamil in Chennai was inaugurated,” he said. The Central Government fully funds the new campus.
In his speech, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin urged Prime Minister Modi to make Tamil an official language and Hindi. The MK Stalin-led DMK has long been demanding the status of an “official and administrative” language for Tamil.
“Make Tamil the official language like Hindi and the official language of the Madras High Court. I urge the government to refund the central GST fee of Rs 14,006 crore to our state,” Stalin said.
Stalin also called for exempting Tamil Nadu from the national medical entrance test NEET. “We are opposing the NEET exam and we have also passed a bill in the Assembly. We appeal to the PM to give exemption from the NEET exam, to Tamil Nadu,” Stalin said.