Madhya Pradesh school education minister Paras Jain on Sunday allayed minority communities’ fears about mass Surya Namaskar event scheduled on January 12 and said their participation was “not compulsory”.
He said those who did not want to participate in the event could sit aside.
The Madhya Pradesh government has been holding a mass Surya Namaskar event since 2007. However, members of the minority communities had been objecting to participating in it as they held that it was a kind of worship which went against the tenets of their religion and the Constitution of India.
Read:Will move court if Surya Namaskar is forced upon
The minister, however, reiterated that the department had inducted Surya Namaskar and pranayam exercises to make people healthy and they had nothing to do with any religion.
The event, the ninth one in a series, will be held on the Yuva Diwas, the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda on Monday in all government schools in the state from 11.30am to 12 noon.
This year the students of Class 5 to Class 12 will take part in it. Earlier the students from Class 6 and above participated in it.
School education minister Paras Jain will join the even at Ujjain's Dussehra Maidan and chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan at Boys’ School stadium in Bairagarh.
Event managers said the chief minister’s message would also be broadcast during on the occasion.
The state government had earlier claimed that the first event had drawn around 66 lakh students from across the state. In 2012, the state government had failed to get it registered as the biggest event in the Guinness Book of World Records.