After courting controversy over her comments on migrants earlier, Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit on Sunday praised the contribution of people from Bihar in the building of the national capital.
Stressing the need to dispel misconceptions about Bihar, Dikshit said the state has given great political and spiritual leaders to the world.
"There are misconceptions about Bihar in Delhi but let me say that the state has given personalities like Chanakya, Ashoka and Buddha who have significance not only in India but also in the world.
"Delhi has been made on the shoulders of people who have come here from Bihar", she said at a function to felicitate personalities who have contributed to Maithili culture and language organised by Akhil Bhartiya Maithili Sangh.
She also floored the audience by beginning her speech in halting Maithili, the language spoken in some parts of Bihar and Jharkhand. "Ahan sab thik chae" (Is everyone good here?)," she said to loud cheers from the audience.
"I didn't know Maithili is such a sweet and beautiful language. I can understand the language now and I will certainly try to learn to speak it," she said.
Urging Parliamentarians to speak in their local language, she said that speaking Maithili in Parliament would help in propagating the language. "Had they been speaking in Maithili in Parliament I and others would have become proficient in the language", she said.
She also said the Maithili-Bhojpuri Academy in Delhi is doing good work but it needs more contribution from everyone who speaks the language.
"There are many people from Bihar and eastern India in Delhi and that's why we started the academy but we want all of you to contribute more in spreading the beauty and culture of Maithili-Bhojpuri", she said.