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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday urged people to "give a book instead of a bouquet as a greeting", saying there is no joy greater than reading and no strength greater than knowledge.
Speaking at the launch of P N Panicker National Reading Day celebrations in Kerala's capital Kochi, Modi said the state had been an inspiration to the whole nation in achieving high literacy rate.
"Kerala has been a torchbearer and inspiration to the whole nation in the field of literacy," he said, also urging the youth to take the pledge of reading.
"Together, we can once again make India a land of wisdom and knowledge," Modi said, adding: "I appeal to people to give a book instead of bouquet as a greeting.
Such a move can make a big difference."
"There can be no joy greater than reading and no strength greater than knowledge. Kerala had been an inspiration to the whole nation in literacy," he added.