International Yoga Day events not 'compulsory': Government
New Delhi: Amid opposition from some minority groups including the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AMPLB) against compulsory yoga classes in schools, government yesterday said participation in June 21 events to mark International Yoga Day was not "compulsory".
However, Shripad Yesso Naik, Minister of State for AYUSH, the coordinating ministry for the Yoga Day events, said, "It is yoga and has nothing to do with religion."
Speaking to reporters after reviewing the preparations for the mega event to be held at Rajpath, Naik said, "The event is not a compulsory one and it has no connection with religion."
"We have not made anything mandatory. It is yoga and has nothing to do with religion. We request everyone... It is an opportunity for everyone in the country to showcase before the world our ancient legacy. This initiative has nothing to do with any party. This will help us bring pride to the country," he said.
Asserting that "those who want to oppose can oppose. What can be done?" he added, "I do not understand why are they opposing. When the resolution was passed in the UN, 177 nations were in its favour, of which 37 are Muslim countries.
"Yoga does not speak about any religion. If one doesn't want to do a certain part, then don't do it. If you don't want to say 'Om' while practising yoga, then don't do it. At least one can perform yoga," Naik said.
He was asked about AIMPLB's decision to launch a nationwide campaign against the move of making 'Surya Namaskar' and yoga compulsory in schools."
Naik also said that about 35,000 people are expected to attend the Rajpath event.