MP: Muslim kids participate in surya namaskar | bhopal | Hindustan Times
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MP: Muslim kids participate in surya namaskar

Many children from the Muslim community participated in a mass surya namaskar event in Bhopal, despite the programme facing opposition from clerics in the city.

bhopal Updated: Jan 13, 2016 17:35 IST
Purvi Jain
Schoolchildren participate in a mass surya namaskar event on Swami Vivekanand’s birth anniversary, at Baab-e-ali ground in Bhopal on Tuesday.
Schoolchildren participate in a mass surya namaskar event on Swami Vivekanand’s birth anniversary, at Baab-e-ali ground in Bhopal on Tuesday. (Praveen Bajpai/HT photo)

Many children from the Muslim community participated in a mass surya namaskar event in Bhopal, despite the programme facing opposition from clerics in the city.

Around 5,000 children from Class 6 to 12 participated in the event at Baab-e-Aali Ground, Shahjahanabad, with most viewing it as “just an exercise”.

“My parents allowed me and my sister to take part in the programme because they view surya namaskar as a scientific exercise which is good for health,” Amaan, a class 8 student at Rasheediya School in Old Bhopal told HT.

Haseeb, a class 6 student, felt the same. “According to my parents, it is a physical training, so I can participate in it with my friends,” he said.

Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan was also expected to take part but sources said that he could not attend the programme because he had to board a flight to Singapore. However, state education minister Paras Jain was present for the proceedings.

Since 2007, the state government has been marking the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda by organising surya namaskar programmes on a grand scale. In the previous years, participation in the event was mandatory for all government schoolchildren and government college students, but owing to protests, the practice was made voluntary.

Earlier this week, the various parts of the city were covered with posters, allegedly printed on behest of the Coordination Committee for Indian Muslims (MP unit), which said, “Only bow before the creator and don’t participate in surya namaskar.”

The poster also said, “We appeal to all students and their guardians... to neither participate in the event planned for January 12, 2016, nor in any such programme in the future.”

Interestingly, this year saw a dip in the number of participants in Bhopal, with some complaining the venue chosen was smaller. “In 2015, the collective surya namaskar was organised at the Subhash School ground, which has a greater capacity, but Baab-e-Ali has a smaller capacity and it was difficult to accommodate more children in the limited space” said Pralay Srivastava, PRO, department of public instructions.