Madurai (Tamil Nadu) [India], January 14 (ANI): Tamil culture, history and language are essential for the future of India and are needed to be respected, said Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on who is in Madurai to attend the traditional bull-taming sport -- 'Jallikattu' -- and celebrate Pongal.
The Wayanad MP along with Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) President MK Stalin's son and actor Udhayanidhi, attended the Jallikattu event in Avaniyapuram in Madurai.
Addressing the event, Gandhi said it was quite a lovely experience to see Tamil culture, history in action.
"I'm happy that Jallikattu is being organised in a systematic and safe way that both the bull and the youngsters are safe and everybody is being taken care of. I have specifically came here because I think Tamil culture, history, language are essential for the future of India and need to be respected by everybody in India. I have come here to give a message to those people who think they can push aside Tamil language and Tamil culture," Gandhi said.
The Congress leader said he has received tremendous love and affection from the people of Tamil Nadu and added it is his duty to stand with the people of Tamil Nadu and protect their history, culture and language.
"I'm also here to learn about your culture, feelings and history. I would like to wish everybody happy Pongal and would like to congratulate the youngest for doing a wonderful job here (participating in Jallikattu)," the Congress leader added.
Gandhi is scheduled to begin Congress' election campaign for the upcoming Assembly polls in Tamil Nadu today. He is also scheduled to visit Coimbatore on January 23 and 24.
Assembly polls are due in Tamil Nadu in April-May 2021.
Pongal is a four-day harvest festival dedicated to the Sun God. To mark the festival, the Pongal sweet dish is prepared and is first offered to the Gods and Goddesses followed by, sometimes, with an offering to cows. (ANI)