50 lakh students across MP participate in ‘Surya Namaskar’ despite opposition

via PTI published on January 12, 2012

BHOPAL: Despite stiff opposition to the ‘Surya Namaskar’ exercise, a record number of 50 lakh students across Madhya Pradesh today took part in it, with state chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan leading from the front.

The School Education Department has made elaborate arrangements for ensuring grand presence in the event which is being organised every year in the state since 2007 on the occasion of Swami Vivekanand’s birthday (January 12).

“Nearly 50 lakh students across the state took part in the Surya Namaskar exercise, which is a record in itself,” official sources said.

Defending the decision to organise the event, Chouhan told reporters after the exercise, “Surya Namaskar is not aassociated with any particular religion. It is a yogic exercise having a unique coordination of mind and body aimed at keeping a person perfectly alright.”

However, he said the participation was not mandatory. He also clarified that the exercise was not organised merely with an aim to get the feat registered in the Guinness Book of Records.

Large number of students took part in the sun salutation exercise in the entire state with ministers leading it at divisional and district headquarters.

Minority community heads had strongly opposed the move and issued a”fatwa” directing people not to take part in the Surya Namaskar exercise.

Main opposition Congress also termed the move as an attempt to please the RSS leadership as part of its saffron agenda.

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