Just last week on 21st June, people in 180+ countries celebrated International Yoga Day (IYF) and million practiced Yoga together in parks, schools, colleges, offices and embassies through out the world. On 11 December 2014, Modi government introduced the draft resolution in UN General Assembly for the International Yoga Day. The draft text received broad support from 177 Member States who sponsored the text, which was adopted without a vote. This initiative found support from many global leaders. A total of 177 nations co-sponsored the resolution, which is the highest number of co-sponsors ever for any UNGA resolution of such nature.
Narendra Modi said in UN General Assembly, “Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in well being. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day.” Modi government also carved out AYUSH as a separate ministry, to give more focus and budgetary allocation to Ayurveda, Yoga and other alternative preventive health practices.
Yoga is an ancient Indian tradition, it has mention in Rigveda and detailed in Yoga Sutras of Rishi Patanjali. As it has origins in Hindu texts, it was unfortunately marked as a non-secular practice by many. All India Muslim Personnel Law Board (AIMPLB), wrote a letter to Muslim bodies and Imams cautioning that some organisations are “attacking Islamic beliefs” and trying to violate the secular constitution through the practice of Yoga in schools. AIMPLB acting general secretary Maulana Wali Rahmani of AIMPLB further added that the celebration of Yoga Day and ‘Surya namaskar’ in schools are aimed at implementing the RSS agenda. Muslims should be cautious as many organisations and individuals under the patronage of the government are attacking Islamic beliefs. Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC) has reacted sharply to the state government’s decision to celebrate the International Day of Yoga on Sunday. It said Sunday is a holiday for Christians and holding an event on the day would hurt their religious sentiments. Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan made many initiatives to make Yoga popular in schools, but unfortunately opposition parties called it an effort of mere saffronisation.
Yoga guru Swami Ramdev recently tweeted that Yoga is Universal & Scientific. Yoga does not differentiate between people and delivers strong body and balanced mind to people of all religions, caste, gender & nationality. Swami Ramdev needs a special mention here, who took Yoga out of drawing rooms of elites to parks and grounds of the nation. Through his extensive yoga camps, Aastha TV channel and social media platform he has directly and indirectly taught yoga to millions of people around the globe. Also through Patanjali Ayurveda he has mainstreamed Ayurveda and established it as an important medical practice. Other Saints like Sri Sri Ravishankar, Jaggi Vasudev, Swami Chidanand Muni also made important contributions in taking Yoga to masses.
Yoga in London ! Yoga, Sprituality & Ayurveda are India’s biggest contribution to the world for the welfare of mankind pic.twitter.com/tQCd7Fev5g
— Swami Ramdev (@yogrishiramdev) June 23, 2018
Today Yoga and spiritualism works as one of the major soft power exports from India. Along with the image of software and IT capital of the world, India is also considered the land of Yoga. Yoga was labeled ‘Communal’ before 2014, now practiced in 180+ countries on International Yoga Day.