Varanasi: We have to remove linguistic barriers and forge emotional bonding, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday while inaugurating Kashi Tamil Sangamam’ – a month long program to celebrate the age-old links between Tamil Nadu and Kashi, two of the country’s ancient most seats of learning.
“Despite having one of the world’s oldest living languages Tamil, we lack in honouring it fully. This is the responsibility of 130 crore Indians to preserve the legacy of Tamil and enrich it,” the Prime Minister said.
“If we ignore Tamil we do a great disservice to the nation and if we keep Tamil confined in restrictions we will do great harm to it. We have to remember to remove linguistic barriers and forge emotional unity,” he added.
During the program, more than 2500 delegates from Tamil Nadu will be visiting Kashi. They will participate in seminars, site visits etc to interact with local people of similar trade, profession and interest.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister underlined that Kashi and Tamil Nadu are timeless centres of Indian culture and civilisation.
“In Kashi, we have Baba Vishwanath, while in Tamil Nadu we have the blessings of Lord Rameshwaram. Both Kashi and Tamil Nadu are immersed in Shiva. Be it music or literature, Kashi and Tamil Nadu have always been a source of art,” he said.
Lamenting the lack of efforts to strengthen spiritual unity and heritage of the country for years, the Prime Minister said that Kashi Tamil Sangamam will become a platform for this resolution today “while making us realise our duties, and being a source of energy to strengthen national unity.”
He said that it was through this attitude of breaking language and surpassing the intellectual distance that Swami Kumargurupar came to Kashi and made it his Karmbhoomi and got Kedareshwar Mandir constructed in Kashi.
Later, his disciples got Kashi Vishwanath temple constructed in Thanjavur on the banks of river Kaveri, he added.
Modi gave examples of various personalities to reiterate the link between Tamil scholars and Kashi.
“This is my experience that without understanding scholars from South India like Ramanujacharya, Shankaracharya, Raja Ji to Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, we simply can not understand Indian philosophy,” he said.
“I want such events are organised in Tamil Nadu and other Southern states and youngsters from other parts of the county visit and absorb the culture there. The gains of this sangamam need to be taken forward through research and this seed should become a giant (vatvriksha) tree,” he added.
During the program, a month long exhibition of handlooms, handicrafts, ODOP products, books, documentaries, cuisine, art forms, history, tourist places etc. of the two regions will also be put up in Kashi.
The PMO said that the endeavour is in sync with National Education Policy 2020’s emphasis on integrating the wealth of Indian Knowledge Systems with modern systems of knowledge.
IIT Madras and BHU are the two implementing agencies for the program.
The Prime Minister also released a book ‘Tirukkural’ along with its translation into 13 languages. He also witnessed a cultural programme followed by aarti.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Governor Anandiben Patel, Union Ministers Dr L Murugan, Dharmendra Pradhan were among those present on the occasion.