Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday hit out at political parties which "played a game" over languages without doing enough to support them, and alleged they did not want students from villages, the poor and those from backward class families to become doctors or engineers.
Highlighting the challenges faced by youth from villages and poor families in joining the medical profession, he said the BJP government headed by him understood these issues and provided them with the option of getting a medical education in Indian languages, including Kannada.
"I want to mention before you a challenge that is there in the medical profession. Because of this challenge, it was difficult for youth from villages belonging to poor and backward classes to become doctors," Modi said.
In his address after inaugurating the Sri Madhusudan Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (SMSIMSR), he said, some parties had "played a game" over languages for the sake of their political selfishness and vote bank politics; but they did not put the effort that was needed to support languages in a true sense.
"Kannada is a prosperous language. It is a language that increases the pride of the country. Earlier governments did not take steps towards teaching medical, engineering and technical education in Kannada too," Modi said.
"These political parties did not want the sons and daughters from villages, poor and backward class families to become doctors or engineers, whereas our government which works for the welfare of the poor has given an option of medical education in Indian languages, including Kannada," he added.
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, state's Health Minister K Sudhakar and Madhusudan Sai among others were present at the event.
For a long time, there was such a kind of politics in the country, which saw the poor as just a vote bank, the PM said, adding, "But for the BJP government, serving the poor is its supreme duty. We gave priority to the health and welfare of the poor and middle class. We opened 'Janoushadi Kendras' to provide cheaper medicines."
SMSIMSR, which the Prime Minister inaugurated on Saturday, is a totally-free-of-cost medical college and hospital at Sathya Sai Grama, Muddenahalli in Chikkaballapura district.
It has been established by Sri Sathya Sai University for Human Excellence.
Located in a rural area and established with a vision of de-commercialising medical education and healthcare, SMSIMSR would provide medical education and quality medical care -- completely free of cost -- to all, an official release said.
The institute will start functioning from the academic year 2023, it said.