Chennai: A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded Tamil as "one of the most ancient living languages", DMK chief MK Stalin on Tuesday urged him to take "all necessary steps" to make it one of the official languages of the country.
In a statement, Stalin said the Centre has the responsibility to recognise Tamil as an official language as Modi himself accepted the language's significance. He also appealed to the government to make Tamil an official language in the Madras High Court.
"We are glad to see that Modi has been praising the depth of Tamil language at various forums and quoting Tamil poems. I would like to draw the Prime Minister's attention as Tamil is already an official language in many countries," Stalin said in his statement.
He said the Tamil people have "huge expectations" from the Prime Minister and urged him to ensure that the language is made the nation's official language.
On Monday, Modi cited his United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) address, where he 'spoke a few lines in Tamil' and told the gathering that it was one of the world's ancient languages. "When I was in America I spoke in Tamil once. Even today, Tamil echoes in the entire United States," the Prime Minister said.
At his UNGA address, Modi had quoted the popular Tamil philosopher Kaniyan Pungundranar. "Yaadhum Oore Yaavarum Kelir," he had said communicating the sentiments that 'we belong to all places and to everyone'.
During his United States visit, Modi had also used multilingual comments at one point, which seems to be an attempt to douse the controversy that erupted after Union Home Minister Amit Shah's statement where he had said that Hindi is the only language which can unify India.
Shah had later clarified that he never talked about the imposition of Hindi anywhere in the country but had advocated the use of Hindi as a second language instead.