Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday spoke to a hairdresser from Tamil Nadu as part of his ”Mann Ki Baat” programme and lauded his initiative to encourage reading by converting a portion of his salon into a library.
Hailing Tamil classic ”Tirukkural”, PM Modi said it was a guide for life and one must read it.
The book is available in all Indian languages, the prime minister said in his monthly ”Mann ki Baat” radio broadcast.
Tirukkural or Kural in short is an ancient Tamil didactic literature having 1,330 couplets, offering guidance to people from all walks of life.
Beginning his conversation in Tamil with ”vanakkam” and ”nalla irukkeengala” (how are you), the prime minister asked the salon owner, Pon Mariyappan, as to how he got the idea of setting up a library.
Mariyappan, hailing from Tuticorin in southern Tamil Nadu, said since he did not get the opportunity to study beyond class 8 due to family circumstances, he established a library for the benefit of others.
When Prime Minister Modi asked him what book he liked, the hairdresser said ”Tirukkural”.
PM Modi, who continued to speak in Tamil, said he felt happy to have spoken to him and Mariyappan too said he was extremely happy.
After conversing with him, the prime minister said: “We just spoke to Pon Mariyappan ji. See how he dresses people’s hair, he gives them an opportunity to dress up their lives too”.
“It felt nice to learn about the popularity of Tirukkural. All of you too heard about the popularity of Tirukkural. Today, Tirukkural is available in all languages of India. Given an opportunity, one must read it. In a way, it is a guide for life,” he said.
PM Modi had quoted Tirukkural on a number of earlier occasions too.
In his Independence Day address last year, while speaking on the ”Jal-Jeevan” Mission, he had quoted a couplet “Neer indri Amayadhu,” to underscore the importance of water.
In July, he quoted verses from the ancient text to reinforce that Indian armed forces had always followed the time honoured traditions of valour and honour.
Addressing party workers, BJP chief JP Nadda had last November said, “Thirukkural is a great source of inspiration for humanity.”
Last year, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had quoted another Tamil classic “Purananooru”, to assert that the government was for judicious taxation.