Behind Kejriwal’s 24 x 7 theatrics and his uncanny ability to become the source of all controversies, a lot of stupidity by other political leaders of this nation goes unnoticed. However, few of them standout just by their sheer talent of acting nonsense. Nitish Kumar ’s announcement of not celebrating international yoga day was one in the same league.
On the eve of International Yoga day, Nitish Kumar decided that instead of celebrating this irrelevant day he should celebrate Fête de la Musique alternatively called as world music day which coincidently falls on the same day. He also ensured that none of the govt machinery of the state practice yoga on that day.
The critics of the incumbent govt and the group of self-declared intellectuals have opposed the International yoga day since its inception. Their reasons are largely rhetoric as they are not convinced that Yog is secular and are particularly against chanting OM. They consider yog as a tool of the govt to promote Hindutva.
What makes Nitish logic of not celebrating yoga so bizarre that it contradicts itself? While declaring yoga as the political – Akhara of Bhartiya Junta Party, Nitish Kumar said, “Yoga is a natural treatment process but liquor addicts cannot perform it. Yoga would be irrelevant unless a ban is imposed on sale of liquor across the country”. Does not it mean that Yoga should be only performed in a state where there is a complete ban on liquor? Isn’t there a ban on consuming liquor in Bihar? Does not it make Biharis the ideal candidates for performing yoga?
We all know that Nitish Kumar is not as mentally challenged as Rahul Gandhi to contradict himself so obviously. Nitish Kumar has long been projecting himself as the true champion of secularism. Leaders like him draw a fictitious line to make them appear standing in solidarity with the minority community. He has attempted to conceal his true intentions behind this lame argument and at the same time leaving a subtle hint that he doesn’t endorse yog.
For some time, let us put the argument given by Nitish aside and analyze the merit of Nitish’s intention of not celebrating International yoga day.
The philosophy of yog was first introduced by Swami Vivekananda in 1893 during his famous Chicago speech. In 20th century, yog spread as a system of physical exercise. The world gradually recognized all aspects of yog including Bhakti and emotion. However, due to the lack of state patronage it grew more in isolation.
In the quest of reinstalling India as a spiritual hub, the Prime Minister pushed the world to imbibe the yogic culture. Modi in his address to UN proposed the idea of celebrating international yoga day on 21st June as it is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and has special significance in context of yoga. The UN General Assembly on 11th December 2014 adopted the resolution of commemorating 21st June as the International Day of Yoga.
The effort of govt was lauded by the spiritual gurus across India. Sadhguru stated it as a foundation stone to make the scientific approach to the inner well-being of the human being. Sri Sri Ravishankar praised the govt and said, “Yog has existed so far almost like an orphan, official recognition by the UN would further spread the benefit of yog to the entire world.”
A total of 35,985 people, including the Prime minister Narendra Modi and a large number of dignitaries from 84 nations, performed yog for 35 minutes at Rajpath on the first international yoga day. The celebration was included in the Guinness book of world records as the event with the largest number of participating nationalities.
The mammoth success of International yoga day and its ubiquitous celebration including some of the highly orthodox minority countries two days ago have left no doubt about its acceptance and appeal. However, the confrontation only for the sake of it has really no logical solutions.
Moreover, the animosity of chief ministers of state like Delhi, Bihar and West Bengal towards the center has been unprecedented in recent times. Instead of working for the people of their state who have elected them to powers, they work for materializing their own political ambitions. This is both disgusting and dangerous.
As Modi puts it, “Yog is not only for the well-being of one’s health and mind but also for the unity of thought and action & restraint and fulfilment”. People like Nitish Kumar should take a pause, introspect and start practicing yog.