Veshti, idli-sambar, Tamil poet quote: Modi's outreach to Tamil Nadu?

Last Updated: Fri, Oct 11, 2019 20:28 hrs

Reacting to Modi's attire, PMK founder S.Ramadoss tweeted: "It gives happiness to see Modi wearing Tamil's traditional dress veshti and shirt. Let the world know Tamil Nadu's heritage."

The leaders of the two of the most populous countries in the world with a combined population of about 2.6 billion are here for the second informal India-China Summit.

Not only did Modi wear the Tamil's male traditional attire, he also tweeted a message in Tamil welcoming Xi.

"President Xi Jinping! Welcome to India," Modi tweeted in Tamil.

In an another tweet, Modi said he was happy to note Tamil Nadu was greeting Xi Jinping. "Let the relationship between India-China further get strengthened through this informal summit," he wroted.

During his speech at the UN General Assembly session last month, Modi highlighted India's message of inclusiveness, quoting Tamil poet Kaniyan Pungundranar who lived some 3,000 years ago: "We belong to all places and we belong to everyone."

"The sense of belonging beyond borders is unique to India," he had said.

Last month while he came to Chennai to participate in a function at Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, Modi recalled his quoting the Tamil poet which was received well by the US media.

Speaking at the IITM function, Modi sought to promote Tamil Nadu's tourism by encouraging visitors to visit the nearby UNESCO World Heritage Site Mahabalipuram famous for its stone carvings and stone temples.

Making a special reference to the South Indian delicacy idli, dosa, vada and sambar generally taken for breakfast, Modi said Chennai is known for its hospitality and is warmth.

Modi's party BJP has not been able to make any inroads in Tamil Nadu.

There is also a strong feeling amongst the people that the party will impose Hindi and some of the recent happenings has reinforced that perception.

There is a view that Modi is trying to correct that perception by quoting a Tamil poet in the UN General Assembly.

And now the India-China Summit at Mahabalipuram, wearing of Veshti reinforces that view.

However DMK Spokesperson and Member of Parliament T.K.S.Elangovan had earlier told IANS that speeches at international forum are different and governance is different, but welcomed Modi quoting Pungundranar during his speech in the United Nations on September 27.