Bhopal: Muslim group opens helpline to tackle Surya Namaskar 'diktat'

  • Shahroz Afridi, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
  • Updated: Jan 06, 2015 17:48 IST

The government's recent directive of getting students in educational institutions to perform Surya Namaskar on the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda on January 12 has met with strong objection from a section of the Muslim community.

The Muslim group has also introduced a helpline where students who are compelled to perform the Surya Namaskar can get in touch with legal experts.

"We received a lot of complaints last year where Muslim students were compelled to perform Surya Namaskar much against the High Court decision," said Masood Khan, coordinator of the MP chapter of Coordination Committee for Indian Muslim (CCIM).

Khan said Bhopal had a large population of Muslims and several schools in Old City area comprised of more than 90% Muslim students. Reports from last year stated that students from these schools were compelled to perform Surya Namaskar, in violation of the High Court order.

CCIM has started an awareness campaign and has printed pamphlets, which are being distributed to Muslim students and their parents to create awareness.

More than a dozen phone numbers from Bhopal, Jabalpur, Gwalior, Indore, Burhanpur, Shahdol, Ratlam, Ujjain, Seoni, Chhindwara and Alirajpur are listed in the pamphlet. However, school education officials refute any charges of compulsory practise of Surya Namaskar.

DS Kushwah, joint director, school education, Bhopal division, said he hadn't received any complaints of the same. "The order to perform Surya Namaskar is not binding on the students and the school education department has taken care in this regard," said Kushwah.

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