Needless controversy over yoga in schools

Govt to make international yoga day a grand success and yoga has many health benefits

GN Bureau | June 8, 2015


#yoga day   #narendra modi   #muslim board   #rajpath   #health benefits  


In the age of unhealthy food habits and polluted atmosphere, yoga presents most cost effective preventive method and means for staying healthy. It is nothing to do with religion or community. But needless controversy is being generated over yoga which is about self discovery, self education and self development.

The government is making efforts to get hundreds of health enthusiasts from 193 countries to perform various 'asanas' at different places across the globe with some 35,000 to 40,000 people who would lead the celebrations from Rajpath in the heart of Delhi to mark the first International Yoga Day on June 21. The half-hour programme will begin at 7 am.

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However, in an ill-timed move, All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) on Sunday decided to launch a nationwide campaign against making 'surya namaskar' and Yoga compulsory in government schools.

"We will put forth our view on surya namaskar and yoga and explain as to why it was against our religious beliefs and should not be forced on our children," AIMPLB member Maulana Khalid Rashid Farangi Mahali has said.

Yoga has been proved by various experts and studies that the benefits of it are holistic and cost effective. If the Muslim community does not want to derive benefits of a way life because it has Hindu connotations, is tragic to say the least. They can claim exceptions but there is no need to oppose it at a community level.

The government is serious about yoga and it will push through regardless of the opposition. In fact, more the opposition more will be the government’s aggressive push.

The UN General Assembly had in December last year adopted an India-led resolution, supported by over 175 UN member-states, declaring June 21 as 'International Day of Yoga', recognising that "Yoga provides a holistic approach to health and well-being".

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will lead the celebrations, has called for making yoga a mass movement, connecting people and strengthening the bonds of humanity.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has been looking after the arrangements.

With an aim of 'Yoga for Health and Peace', about 45,000 people will participate in the programme on Rajpath. The participants would include government officials and prominent citizens.

The government is also organising an international conference on yoga for holistic health, yoga in disease prevention and health promotion, therapeutic potentials of yoga, yoga for global peace, yoga and its applications.

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