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PM Modi Quotes Tamil Saint-Poet Thiruvalluvar Extempore in TN, Draws Applause

Prime Minister Narendra Modi further said India's commitment to peace is just as strong as its commitment to protecting the country's territory and asserted that his government is ready to take all necessary measures to equip the armed forces to bolster their strength.

PTI

Updated:April 12, 2018, 3:00 PM IST
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PM Modi Quotes Tamil Saint-Poet Thiruvalluvar Extempore in TN, Draws Applause
Prime minister Narendra Modi formally inaugurated the Defence Expo Thiruvidanthai on Thursday (TV grab)
Thiruvidanthai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday hailed Tamil saint-poet Thiruvalluvar as a legend and quoted his couplet which said greater learning brings more wisdom.

Amidst applause, the Prime Minister during his address at the Defence Expo here, quoted Thiruvalluvar's couplet in Tamil extemporaneously, describing him as a celebrated poet-philosopher.

"Thottanaith thoorum manarkeni maandharku, kattranaithu thoorum arivu," he said and explained the essence of the couplet.

"In sand and soil the deep you delve you reach the spring below. The more you learn the freer streams of wisdom flow," he said.

Beginning his address with good morning in Tamil saying "Kaalai Vanakkam," Modi said this was the first time he was participating at a defence expo.

He said, "I am both delighted and overwhelmed to see such a gathering here in the great state of Tamil Nadu."

He said the place where the Defence expo was being held (Thiruvidanthai in Kanchipuram district) is historic. He lauded Tamil Nadu as the land of our "glorious maritime legacy," in reference to the great Cholas and added "this is the land from where India looked east and acted east 1000s of years ago."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi further said India's commitment to peace is just as strong as its commitment to protecting the country's territory and asserted that his government is ready to take all necessary measures to equip the armed forces to bolster their strength.

The prime minister's comments, after formally inaugurating the Defence Expo here, comes in the backdrop of increasing Chinese activities along the nearly 4,000 km border with India as well as Beijing's efforts to expand its influence in the Indo-Pacific region.

Listing his government's initiatives to promote defence production in India, Modi also accused the previous UPA government of policy paralysis in the defence sector, which he said affected the country's military preparedness.

There was a time when the critical issue of defence preparedness was hampered by policy paralysis. We have seen the damage such laziness, incompetence or perhaps some hidden motives can cause to the nation. Not now, not anymore, never again, Modi said in the presence of top executives of foreign as well as domestic defence firms.

Though the four-day Defence Expo, India's biennial exhibition of military platforms and weapons, began yesterday, it was formally inaugurated by the prime minister today. The event was also attended by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit, state Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and representatives of a number of countries.

Our commitment to peace is just as strong as our commitment to protecting our people and our territory. For this we are ready to take all necessary measures to equip our armed forces, the prime minister said.

The prime minister -- whose visit to Tamil Nadu comes amid widespread protests in the state over the Cauvery river waters issue -- also discussed modernisation of the armed forces and the long-drawn but unsuccessful initiative of the previous UPA regime to procure 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA).

You would recall the long-drawn process of procurement of fighter aircraft that never reached any conclusion. We've not only taken bold action to meet our immediate critical requirements but have also initiated a new process to procure 110 fighter aircrafts, Modi said.

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