Advocating the concept of learning more languages, President Ram Nath Kovind Thursday said it reinforces national harmony and adds value to the country.
Unveiling a statue of Mahatma Gandhi at Dakshin Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha here, Kovind said Gandhi always urged North Indians to learn languages and scripts of the southern states.
"In the same spirit, he also set up the Dakshina Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha (in Tamil Nadu).. It is a matter of immense happiness that this Prachar Sabha has completed hundred years working for the promotion of Hindi in our Southern States," he said.
Recalling that Gandhi had stayed at the Prachar Sabha here for 10 days in 1946, he said, by installing his statue, you (Dakshin Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha) have paid respects to the values of the Father of the Nation.
Noting that a language of a region can be very educative and help open a window to another culture, he said, "In Delhi, I have observed North Indian students in schools learning Tamil."
"Twinning programmes between different states are popularising the language of one region in another.. Such steps reinforce national harmony," he added.
Kovind also recollected that during the Freedom movement, the poetry of revolutionary poet Subramania Bharati inspired the people of Tamil Nadu and other parts of the country.
"I must also recall that two of my predecessors in Rashtrapati Bhavan, Chakravarti Rajagopalachari and President R Venkataraman, were multi-lingual intellectuals from Tamil Nadu whose contributions and ideas went beyond any one language or region," he said.
The President was also of the view that learning languages of other states has practical benefit as the growing Indian economy was leading to a significant internal migration.
Young men and women from one part of the country were studying or working and adding value to another part of the country. Tamils work in Uttar Pradesh, Biharis find employment in Tamil Nadu. There are millions of examples, he pointed out.
"In such cases, knowing the language of the State or region you are located can only be an asset.. It adds value to your CV and it adds value to our India", he said.
Earlier, Kovind began his speech in Tamil and said, "Tamil Nadu has got many specialities which include the beautiful Tamil language, hoary history, ancient culture and skilled workers. I am happy to visit this State which is one among the favourite States for me.
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