NEW DELHI: Following the raging controversy over religious overtones of some of the Yogic postures and shlokas of the Yoga Day celebrations, AYUSH Minister Sripad Naik said Muslims can take name of Allah during the exercise and appealed to the community to join in June 21 celebrations.
Naik’s remarks followed his meeting with a delegation of muslims who called on him to declare their support to government’s endeavour towards popularising Yoga.
Th Ayush Minister later told reporters that Yoga had nothing to do with any particular religion but it was for the well being of all.
He pointed out that while there was no compulsion on anyone to practise Yoga, it would be good if everyone made Yoga a part of their lives and contributed to International Yoga Day celebrations and supported the Prime Minister’s mission.
“We did not include Surya Namaskar to avoid controversy. And, moreover, it’s difficult to do it. But Surya Namaskar is not religious. We want the whole event to go smoothly...shlokas are not compulsory. Shlokas are merely prayers but they are not compulsory. They can even take the name of Allah instead of chanting shlokas. I request the Muslims to participate and unite the country.”
Some organisations, including the All India Muslim Personal Law Board had voiced their opposition to Surya Namaskar and said it was against their faith.
“We did not make anything compulsory. Even the HRD Ministry has merely appealed to the educational institutions. Few parties are opposing it for the sake of politics,” Naik added.
The delegation, which called on Naik, included Maulana Syed Kaukab Mujtaba Abidi, president Majlis Ulema e Hind (UP), Maulana Suhaib Qasmi, president Jamat Ulema e Hind (Delhi), Irfan Salmani Dehalvi, president All India Jamat e Salmani B,Hafiz Mohd Sabreen, president Jamat Huffaz Ikraam, Abbas Ali Bohra, representative of Daudi Bohra community, Hanif Khan Shastri and professor Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan among others. Abbas Ali said that out of the total 177 countries, which had given co-sponsorship for celebrating International Day of Yoga, 47 countries are from Organisation of Islamic Countries. These countries have expressed their desire to participate in the Yoga sessions being organised in the Indian Missions.”
“There’s Yoga in namaaz but namaaz isn’t Yoga. Those, who oppose it are enemies of humanity because Yoga is for the well being of humans,” Maulana Syed Kaukab Mujtaba Abidi, president of Majlis Ulema e Hind (Uttar Pradesh), told reporters.
While some minority groups have objected to the holding of the event by government, especially the inclusion of Surya Namaskar, representatives of some Muslim organisations who met Naik said those opposing Yoga were “enemies of humanity” and that Yoga had nothing to do with religion.
Sri Sri Ravi shankar Meets Modi
New Delhi: Spiritual Leader and Founder of the Art of Living Foundation, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They discussed preparations for the forthcoming International Yoga Day. The spiritual guru will be at Lincoln Centre, New York, on June 21 to celebrate the Yoga Day at the official function being organised along with the Indian Consulate in which 5,500 people are expected to participate. He would address world representatives at the celebrations of the first-ever International Day of Yoga at the United Nation’s official event.