M.P Govt to go ahead with ‘Surya Namaskar’

via centralchronicle. published on January 23, 2007

Bhopal : Ignoring protests, the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh seems to be going ahead with the mass yoga programme on ‘Surya Namaskar’, expected to be attended by over three lakh school children.

Elaborate preparations have been made for the Surya Namaskar and Pranayam programme, planned at the school, district and state levels on January 25, as announced by State Ministers (Health) Ajay Vishnoi and (School Education) Narottam Mishra last month, official sources said on Tuesday.

The event will be monitored by special committees formed by District Collectors, they said, adding that every state minister has been asked to attend the programme in different districts.

The main programme scheduled here will be led by yoga guru Baba Ramdev and telecast and aired across the state, sources said. Citizens, private organisations and educational institutes have been invited to attend it. Two teachers were trained in every block to conduct the programme.

“Booklets carrying ‘Shlokas’ have also been circulated among the schools for recitation,” the Muslim representatives said, claiming to have garnered support of their Christian counterparts against it. The BJP government in the state was attempting to ‘incite religious passion under the garb of yoga’ among school children, Catholic Church of Madhya Pradesh spokesman Anand Muttungal said.

“Their (BJP’s) intention is doubtful. Though Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has claimed that participation in the programme was voluntary, schools are being compelled to attend it,” he said.

School Education Minister Narottam Mishra said the programme was voluntary and raising controversy was not appropriate. ”In a letter sent to the schools it has been mentioned that students interested in learning Yoga can take part in the Surya Namaskar programme,” he said Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev was scheduled to take part in the ‘Surya Namaskar’ programme. However, he would not take part because of his foreign trip. The programme would be conducted under the guidance of Swami Mukund Kanitkar of Kanyakumari-based Vivekanada Ashram.

Meanwhile, the state government had directed that cabinet members would take part in the programme being organised in various district headquarters. Senior ministers, including Babulal Gaur (Raisen), Raghavji (Hoshangabad), Jayant Malaiya (Damoh) and Kailash Vijaywargiya (Indore), will take part.

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