Kolkata, Jun 21: Appealing to Pakistan to reconsider its stand about not observing the International Yoga Day celebrations, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Sunday said yoga would have helped in "bringing peace" in their country.
"It is very important to know that 190 countries agreed that yoga is important for mankind and out of those 190 countries nearly 44 were Islamic countries. You can see that yoga is taking place in New York, China, London also," Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Ravi Shankar Prasad said here. [Live Updates: International Yoga Day]
"Pakistan too had said that it will talk about yoga in their country but it stopped it all of a sudden. I would request them to rethink as we feel that yoga would help them bring in peace there in their country too," Prasad said addressing the yoga participants during the celebrations of 'International Yoga day' at Sports Authority Of India (SAI) complex in Kolkata.
"Our government want good relations with Pakistan. They had not done it it is their matter but it would have been better if they had done it," he told reporters later.
"Yoga is not a symbol of any particular faith, it is not a symbol of any particular path. It is a symbol of mankind, peace and brotherhood. It is a symbol of the culture, heritage of our country. Yoga is for moral values and for the well being of the mankind regardless of its community, faith or nationality," he added.
Prasad also rubbished claims that yoga represents a particular religion and faith and said that yoga represents mankind and brotherhood and peace.
Prasad lauded how there has been a massive response on the proposal by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his speech at the UNGA last year to declare June 21 as International Yoga Day.
Prasad further told reporters, "In Pakistan there was some initial initiative but it was cancelled at the last moment. It is fine embodiment of our creativity, heritage and what India can offer best to the world for brotherhood for peace. That's yoga is all about".
Hundreds of participants today took part in International Yoga Day celebrations in Kolkata, irrespective of gender and age-group.