Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged India's 130 billion people to overcome language barriers, saying it was everyone's duty to preserve and advance Tamil, one of the oldest living languages. The Prime Minister said Kashi and Tamil Nadu were the two cultures closely associated with Lord Shiva and that their confluence is as sacred as the Ganga-Yamuna "sangam" while speaking at the month-long Kashi Tamil Sangamam's opening ceremony. He appeared at the event wearing a traditional vesti.
“Thousands of years of cultural history should have been protected and strengthened, but after Independence, no attempts were made in this direction,” he said, pointing out that Tamil hasn’t received the honour it deserves.
“If we ignore Tamil, we do a great disservice to the nation. If we keep Tamil confined in restrictions, we will do great harm to it. We have to remove linguistic differences and establish emotional unity,” he said.
His remarks were seen as a reply to certain southern outfits’ allegations of “Hindi chauvinism” against BJP and Sangh Parivar. The PM welcomed the president of China, Xi Jinping to Mamallapuram in October 2019 to promote the ancient coastal town. Recently, Union home minister Amit Shah described the Tamil Nadu government’s decision to start medical and engineering education in Tamil as a great contribution to the language.
UP CM Yogi Adityanath said at the meet that Indian culture had been equally preserved in Varanasi and Tamil Nadu. “Through the Sangamam, people would get to witness the centuries-old bond of knowledge between the north and the south,” he said. The CM stated that Sanskrit and Tamil are the two languages thought to have originated from Lord Shiva's mouth.