Opposition to Yoga Day event politically motivated: Govt

New Delhi, Jun 13: Terming as "baseless and politically motivated" opposition to the International Yoga Day event, the government today said people can chant the name of their respective gods while performing.

It also said 'surya namaskar' was never a part of the yoga 'asanas' to be performed during the June 21 event.

Govt defends Yoga Day

Shripad Naik, Minister for AYUSH which is coordinating the IYD, said that when 47 Muslim nations across the world are supporting the event, the opposition in the country had "no- point" and more than a dozen Muslim bodies in India too have supported the event.

"Our preparations are on full swing. There were some opposition by some bodies or individuals on two issues - 'surya namaskar' and pronouncing 'Om' during the beginning of the event. On the first issue, we have not included it in the common yoga protocol. It was not there from the beginning. "On the second issue, we have not made it compulsory.

Those who want to say om can do it. Those who do not want to, if they want to take the name of their own god, they can take that. There is no compulsion," Naik told reporters on the sidelines of an event.

As a part of IYD celebrations, Naik launched Stop Diabetes Movement (SDM) by S-VYASA University, in collaboration with Arogya Bharati (body run by RSS sympathisers) and Indian Yoga Association while supported by AYUSH and Health Ministry.

"Opposition (to the event) is baseless. I am happy to say that among the 177 countries which supported it, 47 are Muslim countries. When the Muslims of the entire world are supporting this yoga, what is the meaning of an opposition here (India).

This is politically motivated," he said. At the mega event at Rajpath on June 21 to mark IYD, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be present while yoga events will be performed across the nation throughout the day.

The UN General Assembly had in December adopted an India- led resolution declaring June 21 as 'International Yoga Day' three months after the Prime Minister had proposed the idea.


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