From the spots, as it happened...
4.30 am People start gathering at the main venue of International Yoga Day with PM Narendra Modi at Chandigarh’s Capitol Complex. Pic below:
6.25 am PM Narendra Modi starts for Capitol Complex from Punjab Raj Bhawan for an early start to International Yoga Day. He had reached the city at 9.50 pm on Monday night and stayed there overnight.
6.35 am PM Modi reaches the venue, now on stage.
6.40 am Punjab and Haryana governor and UT administrator Kaptan Singh Solanki giving speech. Compares Modi with Swami Vivekananda for getting UN to declare International day of Yoga. Says there has been a renaissance ever since Modi has become PM. Claims yoga has made people rise above region, caste and religion; and even Jats “ended” their quota protest in Haryana. Thanks PM and ends with ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’. A sculpture made by the late Nek Chand, creator of Rock Garden, is gifted to Modi.
6.50 am Modi speaking. Says no other ‘day’ declared by UN has got as much acceptance and encouragement from the general public as much as the International Day of Yoga. Says some people fail to understand yoga. Goes in to add that yoga is not religious in nature. “Yoga is even for atheists.” Says it’s insurance at zero budget. Goes on to urge that Yoga Day should not be criticised. “It is the way to know yourself in this world; for the afterlife, there is religion; yoga is for now.” It is also creating millions and billions worth of system and jobs across the world, he says. “Yoga is developing as a major trade too. I urge all those great people associated with the trade, I want to say this: We will again celebrate Yoga Day next year; until then, let’s concentrate on diabetes. The year round, let’s make it our primary target for the year. India is seeing a rise in diabetes. It can at least be controlled. Let’s start a mass movement... We will pick some other ailment next year...” Says great, optimum use of Capitol Complex today!
7.15 am Master trainers begin lesson from stage. Hindi address by a trainer being translated in English by another. Modi inspects the proceedings by walking around. First, meets people in wheelchairs to show solidarity with the physically challenged. Meanwhile, yoga being done at other spots too across tricity, at around 100 spots, big and small, across Chandigarh alone.
WATCH: Modi performing asanas in Chandigarh
7.30 am Modi joins in, now doing asanas as being led by the trainers from stage. The spots right next to him vacant. Yoga in full swing at Sukhna Lake and other places too. Photos below:
7.48 am PM still doing asanas. Outside, his route marked out as he is scheduled to leave anytime now. Session too near its end. Kapal Bhati breathing exercises being performed.
Below, a kid talks about yoga, at Panjab University:
8 am Main session at Capitol Complex concludes. Modi shaking hands with participants on his way out. Stage compere lauding him as setting an example “with his very life and lifestyle”. PM mobbed for a few seconds by selfie-seekers before security personnel make a strict cordon around him. Then leaves the venue in cavalcade. Photo below:
8.15 am Programme over, rain descends. Fortunately for the event, it did not rain during the proceedings even though there was meteorological prediction of it, and there was also a Plan B ready!
8.45 am Modi takes flight back to Delhi; crowds dispersing, while some venues still seeing asanas being performed.