A mass Surya Namaskar was organised in schools, colleges and other academic institutions run by the state government besides panchayats across the state on Thursday to mark the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. Thousands of students and others took part in the event that began at 9.30 am.
Addressing students in Bhopal, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan underlined the importance of yoga in life and how it was beneficial for students in their studies.
Earlier, Muslim community leaders distributed pamphlets in Bhopal and other places in the state to make an appeal to the community members not to take part in the Surya Namaskar programme.
The minister of state for school education, Deepak Joshi, dismissed the protest by Muslim leaders and said participation in the Surya Namaskar programme was not mandatory. He added that the event had nothing to do with any religious practice as no mantra was recited.
The ruling BJP government in Madhya Pradesh has been organising the one-day mass Surya Namaskar event for almost a decade.