November 8, 2017
Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit has taken upon himself a new task: learning Tamil. Just after a month after assuming charge, the Governor has started learning the state language to connect with the people of Tamil Nadu.
According to Raj Bhavan sources, he started attending Tamil class from Tuesday and is intended to sit for the class without giving it a miss amid his tight schedule. He is the second non-Tamil TN Governor after late Surjit Singh Barnala to show interest in learning the local language of the state.
An official release from Raj Bhavan issued on Wednesday said, “Due to his flair and love for Tamil and his keen interest in learning the language, the Governor has started learning Tamil from a Tamil teacher.” The Governor, who is fluent in English, Hindi and Marathi, said that Tamil is a classical and beautiful language and learning the language of a place helps one to converse well with the people of the state.
Though he served as Governor of Assam previously, it is not known whether he made any attempts to learn Assamese.
The Chancellor-Governor himself told a gathering of vice-chancellors while speaking at a capacity building workshop on institutional ranking for VCs and Registrars in Chennai on Tuesday that he is learning Tamil and he would address the next workshop for VCs in Tamil.
Meanwhile, sources said Barnala during his first stint as TN Governor in 1990 learnt Tamil. “As far as I know, Barnala did try to learn Tamil. But I have never heard him talking in Tamil either in private conversations or during public address,”a former Vice-Chancellor of Madras University told The Covai Post. Barnala, who expired in January this year, was the only Governor to have served three terms including two successive terms from November 3, 2004 to August 31, 2011, in the history of Tamil Nadu. He was preceded by P S Ramamohan Rao and succeeded by Konijeti Rosaiah. After Rosaiah, Maharashtra Governor Ch.Vidyasagar Rao held additional charge of TN from September 2, 2016 until Purohit was appointed in October 2017.
“However, none of these governors showed interest in learning Tamil,” says a Raj Bhavan official.