After the decision to celebrate the International Yoga Day in schools ran into a controversy, yet another decision of the Maharashtra state government has attracted the ire of many.
The Devendra Fadnavis-led Maharashtra government directed all schools, colleges and universities in the state to celebrate the 21st day of every month as ‘Yoga Day’ through a GR (Government Resolution) in June.
RAMDEV’S PATANJALI, ART OF LIVING TO PARTICIPATE
What has raised several eyebrows is the participation of organisations who will be helping the government in promoting yoga.
Apart from the state Yoga Association, Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Yoga Samiti, Sri Sri Ravishankar’s Art of Living and Bharat Swabhiman Nyaas among others will be promoting the yoga culture in educational institutions in the state.
“While June 21 is celebrated as the International Yoga, the 21st day of every month will also be celebrated as Yoga Day at every school, college and university. It is, however, not compulsory. But look at it as an initiative to promote yoga as a culture, health and well being,” the School Education and Sports Minister Vinod Tawde said.
However, political parties are not buying the theory put forth by the state government and are rather seeing it as a saffron agenda.
“There is already sports as a subject in schools. Children play cricket, football and other sport. Why separate yoga day? They have a hidden religious agenda,” alleged Samajwadi Party leader Abu Asim Azmi.
Azmi said that his party will oppose any such move by the state government.
Even though the government is insisting that it’s not mandatory, the state has already formed a state-level committee to control district-level yoga committees.
Apart from these celebrations, the GR also says that a 5-day yoga festival will be arranged across the state from January 12 to 21, on the sidelines of Youth Day.
The Youth Day is celebrated on January 12, being the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda.