MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: Now, we can take up `Zero Hour'. Shri K.K. Kaliappan.
*SHRI K.K. KALIAPPAN (GOPICHETTIPALAYAM):* Hon. Deputy Speaker Sir, I would like to bring to the notice of this august House that our leader, the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and the General Secretary of our party Dr Puratchi Thalaivi Jayalalitha impressed upon the then Government in 1998 that Tamil must be made an official language of the country and got it included in the National Agenda for Governance. She gave a clarion call to uphold Tamil as early as in 1998.
Following her foot steps I would like to urge upon the Government and Civil Aviation Ministry in particular to arrange for making announcements in Tamil at airports. All the flights that go to Tamil Nadu must have inflight announcements made in Tamil and all other announcements made at the originating airports must be made in Tamil. This would be a first step towards making Tamil one among the official languages. This would greatly benefit the people of the region and efforts must be made to have respective regional language announcements in various States also. Delhi being National Capital regional language announcements must be made in railway stations also whenever particular train leaves for a particular State.
Like our great leader Anna and Puratchi Thalaivar, Dr Puratchi Thalaivi also organised International Tamil Conference in Thanjavur. Our great poet Bharathidasan said:
"Even if we are to perish, Tamil we would cherish.
Even in our burnt ashes Tamil's fragrance relish."
Such are our sentiments, and I wish the Centre respects our sentiments.
With this, I conclude, thank you.
*Translation of speech originally delivered.