NEW DELHI: The Centre has decided to drop ‘Surya Namaskar’ from ‘asanas’ to be performed by people across the country to commemorate ‘International Day of Yoga’ on June 21. The trimming of the drill is aimed at catering to the sensibilities of the minorities in the wake of opposition from Muslim groups.
Launching a nationwide campaign against making what it dubbed “Hindu religious practices” compulsory in educational institutions, the All India Muslim Personal Board (AIMPLB) had demanded that the order making Surya Namaskar compulsory in schools be also cancelled.
Surya Namaskar, a yogic practice for comprehensive development of the body, is considered a crucial component for improvement of holistic health.
Earlier in April, the government had come under attack on the use of “Aum”, a chant, while issuing a common protocol for celebration of the International Yoga Day.
Meanwhile, preparations are on in full swing for the mega event on June 21, which is expected to witness almost 40,000 people from across the country performing ‘asanas’ at Delhi’s Rajpath. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the gathering, minister of state for AYUSH Shripad Naik said.
The programme, which will be conducted between 7 am and 7:35 am in the entire country simultaneously, is likely to be attended by celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan, Shilpa Shetty and Indian Test skipper Virat Kohli.
“Our ministry is also trying to register the mega event in the Guinness Book of World Records,” Naik said. He said free yoga camps are being organized in 651 districts while 100 such camps will be held in Delhi to observe the day. External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, along with Naik, will launch a special portal for the event on June 9.
In December last year, the United Nations General Assembly adopted June 21 as International Yoga Day after PM Modi urged the world community to celebrate the ancient discipline on a global scale. With over 175 nations supporting Modi’s proposal, the move was seen as major diplomatic win for India.
Besides the function at Rajpath, the capital will also celebrate ‘Yoga Parv’ with art exhibitions, dance and music performances, as well as theatre shows and events like talks, meditation sessions and yoga workshops held across venues between June 21 and 27. According to official sources, the Lalit Kala Akademi, Sahitya Akademi, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts and National Museum have joined hands for the event. Over 300 selected works of art, dance and music performances, and other presentations by 150 plus artists from across India and overseas will be showcased to depict the importance of yoga.
Various yoga schools and centres like Isha Foundation, Patanjali and Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga are also collaborating to conduct workshops and yoga sessions along with showcasing different kinds of ayurvedic, herbal and organic products to visitors at the organic and wellness haat in the capital.
The AYUSH ministry will also organize an international conference on yoga which will focus on holistic health. The theme includes traditional basis of yoga and its role in prevention of diseases along with therapeutic potentials of yoga. The conference will also discuss the importance of yoga for global peace.
The railways has urged its over 13 lakh employees to celebrate the day in a big way.