Ramdev wants to teach Yoga at JNU and the students seem ok with it

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Mar 09, 2016 19:23 IST
File photo of yoga guru Ramdev. (Keshav Singh/HT)

Ramdev wants to teach Yoga at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University, and the students don’t appear to have a problem with it.

Ramdev’s official spokesperson said he expressed a wish to teach Yoga at the south Delhi campus that is under national spotlight for allegations of “anti-national” slogans shouted at an event.

“We are open to go to JNU to teach Yoga. Students of JNU also need Yoga, like those in any other institution,” said SK Tijarawala, Ramdev’s chief spokesperson.

He said this would help them for a healthier and better life and positive thoughts.

“But right now there is no concrete plan,” Tijarawala said, adding that there had been no communication with the university or government so far.

The left-dominated JNU Students’ Union that had opposed Ramdev’s visit to the campus in December last year, said they have no problem if he holds a yoga camp.

“We haven’t heard anything about such an event being planned but JNU is a free campus. People with different ideologies come here and they speak to students who want to listen to them,” said Shehla Rashid Shora, JNUSU vice-president.

Ramdev was to give keynote address at an event organised by the Special Centre for Sanskrit Studies in JNU in December but was strongly opposed by the JNUSU.

“The last time we opposed Ramdev because he was being made a keynote speaker at an international conference. That was giving academic legitimacy to him using JNU platform, which we opposed,” Shora said.

Tijarawala said last time Ramdev could not attend the event because of the “hectic schedule”. “They wished Swamiji should be there. But we couldn’t confirm our participation because of our hectic schedule,” he said.

Welcoming Ramdev’s plan to hold a yoga camp, ABVP’s JNU unit said it was a good idea to get Ramdev on the campus and they are ready to participate in his camp.

“This is a welcome move. When he couldn’t come the last time, we had discussed holding a yoga camp. So it’s good news that it’s happening finally. We will actively take part in it,” said Saurabh Sharma, the only ABVP member and joint secretary in the JNUSU.

The campus has become a battlefield between Left student parties and the ABVP following the arrest of JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar on sedition charges for organising an event where the “anti-national” slogans were chanted. A number of BJP and RSS leaders have criticised JNU students backing Kumar and others charged with sedition, saying such activities couldn’t be tolerated in a university.

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