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Muslim clerics, politicians oppose chanting of 'Om' on International Yoga Day

The Ministry Of AYUSH Has Circulated A Common Yoga Protocol, Saying The Participants Should Chant Vedic Mantras And Om Before Starting The 45-minute Session In Order To Enhance The Benefits Of Yoga. This Circular Has Sparked A Controversy As The Narendra Modi Government Has Been Accused Of Pushing Hindutva Agenda.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Bindiya Bhatt | Updated on: 17 May 2016, 07:25:57 PM

New Delhi:

The Ministry of AYUSH has circulated a common yoga protocol, saying the participants should chant vedic mantras and Om before starting the 45-minute session in order to enhance the benefits of yoga. This circular has sparked a controversy as the Narendra Modi government has been accused of pushing Hindutva agenda. A government-appointed panel of experts has prepared the protocol for all those who shall be participating in the International Yoga Day, scheduled to be held on June 21. The protocol has been circulated through government departments, schools, colleges and universities across the country.

The University Grants Commission has written a letter to all heads of higher institutions, asking for their "personal indulgence" to ensure that the protocol is followed during the events held in their campuses on June 21.

The yoga protocol, said,"Yogic  practice  shall  start  with  a  prayer  or  prayerful  mood  to  enhance the benefits of practice.”
This is not gone well with the opposition parties and religious leaders who have opposed the protocol. 

"Chanting Om or other words is related to one religion which applies to the entire country. This is against secularism. This is against our faith which is a wrong use of one's power. This is a planning to take all India into one umbrella of faith," said Shafique Qazmi, a Muslim cleric.

Supporting the move, Bollywood actor Anupam Kher said, "It is the expression of work. They should be allowed to do what they deem fit. Implementation is important. Om word comes in yoga. This should not be made into controversy. Those who do not want to say Om, they should't say it, there is no problem." However, in view of criticism, the Centre has made it clear that chanting ‘Om’ is not compulsory.

Media reports on Tuesday quoted politicians like Janata Dal United's KC Tyagi, Congress' Sandeep Dikshit and several others raising their objections to the Centre's proposal for chanting ‘Om’ and some Vedic mantras on the International Yoga Day.

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First Published : 17 May 2016, 06:56:00 PM

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