New Delhi, Oct 10: With the JNU Academic Council rejecting introduction of short-term course in yoga, Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma today called for rising above politics when it comes to the ancient Indian art, saying it is being accepted all over the world.
"We are here for the people who support yoga... When we talk of yoga, everybody should rise above politics," he said after a press conference to announce 'Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav-2016'.
He was asked about the decision of the top decision making body of Jawaharlal Nehru University. Sharma said yoga is an individual's choice and not a "compulsion" on anybody.
He said yoga is being accepted all over the world and it was a moment of pride for India when International Yoga Day was declared by the United Nations.
International Yoga Day is celebrated on June 21, the date suggested by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Academic Council (AC), the statutory decision making body of JNU which had been in the centre of controversy over anti-India slogans, has rejected a proposal regarding introduction of short-term courses in Indian culture and yoga second time.
The proposal to introduce three short-term courses in these subjects had come last year against the backdrop of right-wing organisations, including RSS, insisting on propagation of culture in educational campuses to promote India's rich heritage and restore its cultural identity.
On Modi's decision to celebrate this year's Dussehra in the poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, Sharma said,
"Modiji is Prime Minister of the whole country.Wherever he wish, he can go. UP is also part of India. (Earlier) he had celebrated Diwali in Jammu and Kashmir and this time he is going to celebrate Dussehra in UP."
Earlier, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav took a dig at Modi for his decision to attend the Dussehra festivities in Lucknow, saying "had there been elections in Bihar, he would have slain Ravana there".