Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu was at home while addressing the faculty and students of Pondicherry University here recently. Although he highlighted the role of universities in nation- building, as is his wont, he laced his talk with several witty remarks. One such remark was about himself. He was quite frank to point out that he never celebrated his birthday and the New Year.

“I never celebrate my birthday and I also do not celebrate the New Year,” Mr. Naidu said.

He said his wife also did not greet him because she was away in Sri Lanka participating in the Ramayana circuit. It was only after the Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted the message of his birthday, the news went viral.

In the course of his address, the Vice-President also pointed out that parents must teach children in their mother tongue at home. Instead of teaching the children the words like
, they must acquaint children with the word
. While the mother tongue is most important, one should also not have any aversion to other languages was his advice.

Mr. Naidu cited his own example when he mentioned the difficulties he faced in Delhi while interacting in Hindi. Same was the case with Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy, he remarked, much to the amusement of the latter.

Stray cattle menace

The Puducherry Municipality seems to be indifferent to the rules it framed. Recently, a government order was passed declaring the boulevard area covering Goubert Street (east), Sardar Patel Street (north), Anna Salai (west) and Subbaiah Salai (south) a cattle-free zone. This comprises Raj Nivas, Beach Road, Assembly Hall, Chief Secretariat, museum, market places, temples, churches, mosques and so on.

However, the officials have turned a blind eye to violation of this order. While residents and commuters in the boulevard area struggle to negotiate the stray cattle, no action has been taken.

Reporting by S. Prasad and S. Senthalir

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