International Yoga Day: BJP Indore unit plans to do its bit for the show

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Indore
  • Updated: Jun 03, 2015 22:20 IST

As the BJP-led Union government prepares for grand spectacle of yoga asanas in New Delhi to mark International Day of Yoga on June 21, the BJP Indore unit plans to do its bit for the show.

The UN general assembly declared June 21 as International Day of Yoga last December at the behest of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

As a result, the Centre is making all efforts to make the event a grand success.

Though no formal directives have been received from the party headquarters so far, city BJP unit will send over 3,000 members to perform yoga asanas which will be a part of the greater gathering on Dussehara Maidan on June 21.

City BJP president Kailash Sharma said city organisations dedicated to spread yoga will hold mass performance. "We will be part of it," Sharma said.

The state BJP will hold a meeting in Bhopal within a week to discuss how the event can be observed as to make it more impressive.

State BJP spokesperson Babu Singh Raghuvanshi said formal schedule about the event will be discussed at the meeting which will be attended by chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and state BJP president Nandkumar Singh Chouhan.

"We want to send an effective message. The objective of observing international yoga day is to make people adopt yoga as part of daily routine," Raghuvanshi said.

The mass performance of yoga exercises in state has been riddled with controversies.

The BJP-led state government sparked a controversy when it asked school students to perform `surya namaskar' on Vivekanand Jayanti which is observed on January 12 every year.

A section of Muslim leaders objected and said surya namaskar is against Islam.

As protests grew, state government said surya namaskar was not mandatory but voluntary. Every year, state ministers including CM participate in surya namaskar on Vivekanand Jayanti.

Muslims support yoga sans religion

Unlike Muslim hardliners who are against performing yoga exercises, minority community members find nothing objectionable in observing International Day of Yoga as long as it doesn't involve religious sentiments.

Former Devi Ahilya Vishvavidyalay vice-chancellor Abbas Ali said yoga exercises improve physical and mental health of people.

"Yoga is an exercise, I support it," he remarked but was quick to add that he doesn't support 'surya namaskar' which is against Islam as it involves bowing before the Sun which is considered a Hindu deity.

Mufti Junaid Ahmed said Muslims oppose it when people start linking yoga with Hinduism.

Indian culture, he said, was a mix of people who practice different faiths and therefore nothing can be thrust upon people.

He said he had no objection with yoga performance as long as it doesn't border on religion.

However, Mufti was of the view that government which is spending considerable amount of money on publicising yoga should use the same to highlight and propagate Ayurveda which is unique to the country.

A Muslim religious leader wishing anonymity expressed similar views. He said yoga was a form of physical exercise and should be practiced without involving religious feelings.

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