The government is considering whether to make yoga a mandatory part of the curriculum from pre-school to post-graduation, that too all over the country. This ancient science and India’s most significant export to the world – courtesy Swami Vivekananda – is already very popular across the globe with many westerners being ardent practitioners swearing by its benefits. Yoga, argue many — including medical experts — can improve fitness levels, fight heart diseases, and a variety of other disorders, both physical and mental. The government’s latest move is welcome as it aims to develop healthy children into healthier adults, and by consequence, more responsible citizens.
This move should hopefully unburden the weight dumped on the tender shoulders of school-going children across the country which is stunting their growth. As per the plan, basic and advanced education could be imparted, with the Ministry of HRD and Ayush departments covering a wide range of yoga perspectives. Ayush could take care of it at the primary education level and HRD at the university level. To make trained yoga teachers available, there is a plan is to train teachers through the National Council for Teachers’ Education.
Popularising yoga at home will also be in keeping with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intention to extend India’s soft power across the world. The UN has earmarked June 21 as International Yoga Day, due in large measure to his efforts. The government in fact celebrated the International Yoga Day last year by holding the biggest ever mass yoga show. As many as 35,985 participants belonging to 84 nationalities performed asanas, setting a Guinness World record. If yoga is popularised in every part of the country, it could also bring more harmony and connectedness to Gen X that has become gadget and net connected but disconnected from itself and the world. Modi’s pithy observation that yoga is a journey from “I to we and self to universe”, sums up its importance for the citizens of tomorrow.