RSS throws its weight behind Surya Namaskar

  • Rashpal Singh, Hindustan Times, Jaipur
  • Updated: Mar 18, 2015 14:00 IST

Even as the state government has repeatedly denied influence of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) in making Surya Namaskar compulsory in government schools, reports suggest that the Sangh in the state has thrown its weight behind the idea and are explaining the concept to those protesting against it.

Though there is no official announcement from the Sangh, the RSS members have approached those who have doubts about the concept to convince them.

“There is need of convincing,” Jaipur region sanghchalak Ramesh Agarwal said on Tuesday. Agarwal said that there is no campaign or official stand on the issue but since Surya Namaskar has health benefits, the sangh members have been approaching protestors to explain the concept.

Various organizations, especially those from the minority communities, have been protesting against the February 3 order of the education department to make Surya Namaskar compulsory in government schools. The order is applicable for over 48,000 government schools and some private schools in the state too have abide by it.

Rajasthan general secretary of Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind has filed a writ petition in Rajasthan High Court against the education department’s decision on Surya Namaskar.

Abdul Wahid had said on March 15 that the organisation would do whatever is needed to oppose the decision.

“The protests are happening may be because of some other reasons. We are not forcing anyone to follow the concept. The whole world has accepted yoga and is observing June 21 as the International Yoga Day. It should be seen as a form of exercise aimed at benefitting mental and physical fitness. It should not be criticised merely on political and religious basis,” Agarwal explained while detailing the Sangh’s plans to expand yoga across the state in the coming days. “A week before June 21 every year, the Sangh would publicise yoga including the Surya Namaskar and Pranayam through its regular shakhas,” added Agarwal.

Previously, chief minister Vasundhara Raje had defended the education department’s decision and had said that Surya Namaskar should not be seen as a part of Hinduism or RSS ideology as it was being implemented solely on health grounds.

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