Not learning Tamil is one of the major shortcomings in his life, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on February 28.
During his Mann Ki Baat radio address, he described the southern Indian language as beautiful and one amongst the oldest in the world.
Modi told the listeners that he was asked few days ago by a Hyderabad-based resident about the major shortcomings of his life. After pondering over the question, Modi said, he realised that he regretted not learning Tamil.
"I told myself that one of my shortcomings was that I could not make much effort to learn Tamil, the oldest language in the world," he said.
"It is such a beautiful language, which is popular all over the world. Many people have told me a lot about the quality of Tamil literature and the depth of the poems written in it," the Prime Minister added.
Modi's remarks come ahead of the assembly elections in Tamil Nadu, where the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has joined hands with the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK).
The BJP, which has been accused of imposing Hindi by political rivals, has been stressing on the importance of Tamil language and culture during its campaign."If Tamil has to survive, Hindutva has to win, If Kannada has to win, Hindutva has to win," the party's star campaigner and South Bengaluru MP Tejasvi Surya said on February 22, during a public address in Salem.