Yoga is burgeoning in its popularity ever since the Union government took it upon itself to promote the ancient Indian practice in the country where it took root.
Since its health benefits are widely acclaimed, the local police in HAL, Bengaluru has decided to organise a Yoga class for neighbourhood troublemakers and an ex-rowdy is leading the session.
Reports from The Hindu state that the intention behind the exercise is to help charge-sheeted individuals, offenders who are out on bail but not acquitted yet, with better anger management.
Kiran, an ex-convict who after being done with a life of crime became a fitness-expert-cum-Yoga-guru, was leading the session with a 2 hour long Pranayama class.
On Sunday, the HAL police called 30 convicts and asked them to report to station. But instead of the usual inquisition followed by the assignment of manual labour tasks, they were told to participate in a Yoga session.
“We don’t want it to be a punishment. We keep tabs on all ‘rowdies’ in the jurisdiction, and we knew that Kiran had become a fitness and yoga expert. We asked him to conduct this session,” said Sadiq Pasha, Inspector, HAL to The Hindu.
Kiran realised that crime doesn’t pay and has been a law-abiding citizen for the past year and a half. “Until a few years ago, I kept bad company, and was branded a rowdy. It’s a life-long regret I will have. Now I have a chance to prove to myself that I can be a good citizen and help others through yoga,” he explained.
This innovative concept comes on the heels of several states in India suggesting that yoga and meditation be introduced to alleviate the isolation of inmates and prevent in-custody suicides. Numbers in the National Crime Record Bureau point to a spike in the number of unnatural deaths reported in jails, with figures at an all-time high of 194 in 2014.
This is not the first time that police in India have meted out an interesting alternative to the usual forms of punishment. In April, the Hyderabad police decided to make first-time drunk driving offenders gain some knowledge in traffic management. The offenders had to manage traffic for 5 hours amidst chaotic roads in Hyderabad, that too during peak hours!
Here’s to the Indian police force improving health while managing the anger issues of neighbourhood miscreants.