BJP Plans to Start Yoga in MP Schools

January 25, 2007

Source: The Statesman

BHOPAL, Jan. 25: Despite Muslims opposing introduction of yoga in government schools, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Mr Shivraj Singh Chouhan today announced a yoga policy for students. Muslims are opposing yoga as some of its postures are performed with chanting of Hindu hymns. But due to an interim order of a court, yoga will not be made compulsory for students. The court has sought within four weeks the plans of the state government regarding yoga.

Mr Chouhan got the idea of introducing yoga in schools when he met famous yoga guru Baba Ramdev here sometime back.

Mr Chouhan today said yoga would be included as physical education in the syllabus of schools. Before making the announcements, Mr Chouhan performed Surya Namaskar, a set of twelve yogic postures with 10,000 students at a stadium here today morning. But no hymns were chanted. A sort of record was created as throughout the state over 50 lakh students performed Surya Namaskar at the same time.

Announcing the yoga policy, the chief minister said that performing yoga would not be made compulsory for students. “We have been saying this from the very beginning,” he said. “If there is something good from which the whole world is getting benefits, then we should introduce that thing to people and children here also. It will make our children here healthier and intelligent. What is wrong with yoga,” said Mr Chouhan. He also said that a yoga council would be set up in the state to train yoga teachers and popularise yoga. He said famous yoga institutes of the country would be invited to the state to set up yoga schools.

Muslim organisations, on the other hand today held demonstrations here in protest against the government’s decision. Muslim parents did not allow their children to attend schools.