President, PM Modi quote from Tamil literature to drive home point

President Kovind

Chennai: It was Tamil litterateurs who helped the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, express their thoughts this Independence Day.

Making his televised speech to the nation last evening on the eve of the 73rd Independence Day, Kovind, speaking about the scientific achievements of the country, quoted national poet Subramania Bharathi.

The poem, titled Bharata Nadu, went like this:

Manthiram Karpom Vinai Thanthiram Karpom,
Vaanai Alappom, Kadal Meenai Alappom,
Chandira Mandalaththiyal Kandu Thelivom,
Santhi Theru Perukkum Saaththiram Karpom

The President translated it into English and said, “We will learn both scripture and science, we will explore both heavens and oceans, we will unravel the mysteries of the moon, and we will sweep our streets clean too.”

Modi speaking from Red Fort


It was the turn of Prime Minister Narendra Modi today to turn to Tamil saint-poet Tiruvalluvar to establish the importance of water for life.

Speaking after unfurling the national flag on the ramparts of Red Fort this morning to mark the 73rd Independence Day, he quoted the Tirukkural:

Neerindru Amaiyaadhu Ulakenin Yaaryaarkkum
Vaanindru Amaiyaadhu Ozhukku

(Meaning: When water fails, functions of nature cease, you say;
Thus when rain fails, no man can walk in duty’s ordered way)

The couplet was taken from Arathu Pal section of Tirukkural, from the chapter Vaan Sirappu (Blessings of Rain)

Modi also condoled the death of several people in the recent floods in various States of the country owing to unprecedented rain this monsoon.

NT Bureau