Beginning his speech with an ‘anaivarukkum vanakkam’ (wishes to all) in Tamil, the Governor impressed the audience with a few Tamil phrases.

Highlighting Mahatma Gandhi’s strong connection with Tamil Nadu by pointing out how 13 of the first 25 people to stay in Sabarmathi Ashram were Tamilians and how Gandhi made 20 visits to Tamil Nadu, he said that Gandhi bought nine Tamil books during his first visit to the State in a bid to learn Tamil.

“It is in his footsteps that I am also learning Tamil now,” he said followed by two phrases in Tamil – “Tamil oru inimaiyana mozhi (Tamil is a sweet language)” and “Naan Tamilai virumbugiren” (I love Tamil).

His utterances in Tamil evoked loud cheers from the crowd.

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