International

India uses yoga diplomacy to assert rising global influence

Prime Minister Narendra Modi participates in a yoga event in Dehradun. File

Prime Minister Narendra Modi participates in a yoga event in Dehradun. File   | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena

In his first year in power in 2014, Mr. Modi successfully lobbied the United Nations to designate June 21 International Yoga Day.

If China has panda diplomacy, India has yoga.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi practiced various yoga poses alongside an estimated 40,000 people at an event Friday for International Yoga Day in India’s eastern state of Jharkhand.

Mr. Modi told the crowd to “let our motto be yoga for peace, harmony and progress” before joining the hourlong practice.

In his first year in power in 2014, Mr. Modi successfully lobbied the United Nations to designate June 21 International Yoga Day. Since then Modi’s Hindu nationalist-led government has used the ancient practice as a form of soft power to assert India’s rising place in the world.

India’s foreign ministry says most of its 191 embassies and consulates worldwide have organized yoga sessions to commemorate the day, from the Washington Monument to China’s Yellow Crane Tower.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 7:22:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/india-uses-yoga-diplomacy-to-assert-rising-global-influence/article28097077.ece

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