Archive image of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Image Credit: Supplied

New Delhi: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has singled out for praise a martial arts club in Dubai, little known outside the emirate, for its work in “carrying forward ancient traditions” of humanity.

In his monthly radio address to the nation, known as ‘Mann ki Baat’, which translates roughly as ‘Thoughts from the Mind’, Modi praised the Kalari Club Dubai for registering its place in the Guinness Book of World Records.

The Club acquired its world record for assembling the highest number of people ever to perform Kalarippayattu at one place together. Kalaripayattu is an ancient Indian martial art that has been practised for over 3,000 years. The Club describes it as the “mother of martial arts”.

“Old heritage is being protected in the hands of the new generation,” Modi said. At Dubai’s record-breaking assembly, 270 people performed at a single venue. They were aged between 4 and 60, Modi noted.

Link with India

“If Dubai’s club set a record, what is its relationship with India?” Modi asked his millions of regular listeners. “Because this record is related to Kalaripayattu, the ancient martial art of India.”

He cited this as a “wonderful example of how different generations are carrying forward an ancient tradition, with full inner enthusiasm. I am happy that such efforts are being made not only in the country but also abroad”.

The Prime Minister went on to mention a similar effort in India’s Lakshadweep to preserve local culture and traditional arts. “There the youth are being trained in the local arts of Kolkali, Parichakli, Kilipaat and other traditional singing.”

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Modi’s Mann ki Baat is in its eighth year now. Yesterday’s was the 96th episode since he became Prime Minister in 2014.