Health is the prime concern, says Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) while it enforced a compulsion on the conduct of Yoga and Suryanamaskar in Mumbai civic schools, this Tuesday. While the idea mooted by BJP corporator Samita Kamble faced stiff opposition from Congress and Samajwadi Party, the proposal was ultimately given green light by BMC.
Samita Kamble, the BJP corporator who was responsible for pitching the idea of inclusion of Suryanamaskar and Yoga in school’s daily conduct, says that the decision was made solely on the grounds of promoting better physical and mental health amongst the students.
The proposal was quickly addressed in a two hour long discussion where it was flagged mandatory for BMC run civic schools and a creative approach towards improving the health of the students right from their formative years.
Opposition parties Congress and Samajwadi Party had a radically different take on the compulsion of Yoga and Suryanamaskar in civic schools. But their demand for an amendment to make the proposal optional for schools was plainly rejected by the BMC.
Moreover, SP demanded the removal of Suryanamaskar from the proposal all together.
SP corporator Rais Shaikh accused BJP for enforcing Hindu customs on a secular space and a diabolical move to force students into doing things in pretext of culture. He further added, that he would rather pull his children out of the schools than have them succumbed to the forced communism BJP is trying to push through Yogic practises.
State unit Congress vice-president Naseem Khan objected that the move is “unconstitutional” and another case of “saffronisation”of our education system.
Agenda of Secularism
It’s not hard to argue as to why any move for the welfare of the people gets judged on communal grounds in our nation. Cultural diversity is a great thing to be proud of but practically, hard to live with. While Secularism means the liberty to practise any religion, its association with Yoga is absurd.
Yogic practises are merely a collection of meditation and self-development disciplines that improve the health of an individual. Origins from Vedic Indian traditions cause Yoga to be linked to Hinduism but it’s been recognised around the world to be free from any sort of religious connotations.
Then how is the act of enforcing an ancient traditional Indian exercise regime in schools implies any sort of blasphemy? Entering our 70th year of independence and still much of this religious nonsense is fuelling nothing but wars amongst the people.
It is essential to not let our religious sentiments blindside us. Secularism can’t be harmed by practising a few exercises. Vital that the leaders learn not to play the secular card at every undesired change as it’s not only derogatory to the people who elected them to promote growth and harmony but actually enunciates some of the most fundamentally wrong techniques that Indian politicians comply to pitch in for vote bank politics.
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.