With ten days left for International Yoga Day, the Modi government urged Muslims to participate in the celebrations, and suggested that they can take Allah’s name instead of chanting ‘Om’ or reciting shlokas.
Shripad Naik, the minister who is organizing the mega yoga event at the Rajpath on June 21, met with Muslim organizations on Thursday, PTI reported.
“Shlokas are not compulsory. Shlokas are merely prayers but it is not compulsory. They can even take the name of Allah instead of chanting shlokas,” Naik said. “I request the Muslims to participate and unite the country.”
“If people do not want to chant ‘Om’, they can say ‘Allah’,” he told IANS.
On Dec. 11, 2014, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution declaring June 21 as International Yoga Day, an initiative which was spearheaded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who spoke enthusiastically about India’s tradition of exercise and meditation when he visited New York in September, last year.
But the run up to the Yoga Day has been rocky. The All India Muslim Personal Law Board objected to the Modi government’s proposal of making the Surya Namaskar mandatory in school on the grounds that “Muslims bowed only before Allah.”
Bharatiya Janata Party’s controversial lawmaker Yogi Adityanath retaliated by suggesting that those who objected to the Surya Namaskar, an exercise performed in reverence to the sun, should go jump in the sea. Continue reading >>