Here’s what happened on the eve of International Yoga day in Chandigarh where PM Narendra Modi is to lead the celebrations; and also what to expect on Monday:
Landed at 9.50pm
PM Narendra Modi landed in the city on Monday night at 9.50pm, by air from Delhi, to participate in the International Yoga day celebrations at the Capitol Complex on Tuesday morning. He was received by Punjab and Haryana governor, and UT administrator Kaptan Singh Solanki, Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar, and Chandigarh MP Kirron Kher besides UT administrator’s adviser Parimal Rai. His night stay was at the Punjab Raj Bhawan. The UT officials went to the venue again after that to review arrangements.
As it rained on Monday evening for about an hour, the UT administration was on its toes to clear the water and take stock of damage at Capitol Complex. UT home secretary Anurag Agarwal said, “We were all ready with arrangements to tackle any kind of situation. Immediately after the rain the workers were pressed into service to clean the entire place.”
Surinder Paul, the meteorological department director at Chandigarh, said, “Tuesday may receive light rainfall during the day but the exact time can’t be predicted. We are tracking the radar every three hours, and it will only be clear post-midnight if it would rain between 6am and 8am on June 21 (timings of the proceedings of Yoga Day).” The Met website simply said Tuesday would witness partly cloudy sky with likely rain/thundershowers.
The event flow
At the main venue, everyone has to be present by 6am. Journalists were asked to assemble at 3am! PM is to arrive there at 6.40am and make a speech, after which, by 7am, he is to start performing yoga himself, for about 45 minutes. Four trainers on a stage will demonstrate and lead the asanas. There are 500 trainers in all who will lead the proceedings in blocks, divided from A to H. As many as 30,500 participants from the tricity will participate at Capitol Complex, while around 10,000 more are to perform at around 100 different venues across Chandigarh. It will be over by 8am.
In case of a drizzle or light rain, the show will go on as planned. But, if the rain is heavy, the PM can choose from two plans: Go to the waterproof-roofed main stage; or go inside the Vidhan Sabha which is also ready for such an exigency.
The select group
The spotlight will be on the participation of 150 physically challenged persons, with whom Modi will perform yoga. In the immediate block of the PM, there will be 400 people in all, including students and police personnel. Haryana CM Khattar is also expected to perform yoga with the PM.
Which asanas will be performed?
The asanas at the main venue are divided into different sections, beginning with the loosening-up exercises, like neck-bending and body-twisting. The second section comprises six yoga exercises, including Tadasana or palm tree posture, and Vriksasana or the tree posture. The third section with five asanas, includes Sasankasana, or the hare posture, and Vakrasana, the spinal twist posture. Then comes Bhujangasana or the cobra posture. This is followed by the supine postures, comprising three asanas, including the difficult Setubandhasana or the bridge posture, Pavanmuktasana or wind-releasing posture, and finally Shavasana or the dead-body posture. Breathing exercises follow, then dhyan or meditation, and finally the shanti path or chanting.
Effect on normal life: Will traffic stop?
The road leading to the Sector-1 Tourism Information Centre and further leading to Capitol Complex was closed on Monday night for up to 9am on Tuesday. But the UT administration said no club, park, or even Sukhna Lake would be closed in the morning. Traffic will also function smoothly otherwise. Rock Garden will open at 9am as usual. Chandigarh Club which is in the immediate vicinity of the main venue will remain closed in the morning hours and resume functioning after 12 noon. No effect on Chandigarh Golf Club behind lake, or on Leisure Valley in Sector 10. The Punjab secretariat will open at 11am, as state govt has declared off for two hours; the same stands for Haryana. Except for the time when Modi or any other VIP is on a particular road, no traffic will be stopped anywhere. Even when the PM’s cavalcade will move, traffic will be halted only on one side. While general participants will be ferried in buses from designated spots, VIP parking was in the ground adjoining the Haryana CM house.
Still, avoid these routes!
Till around 10am, if you don’t wish to stand in long queues with your vehicle, avoid routes heading to Punjab Raj Bhawan, Sukhna Lake, the high court, PU, or even the Madhya Marg as such.