‘Surya Namaskar’ sparks row

Opposition accuses government of attempting to saffronise school education

January 11, 2012 09:29 pm | Updated July 25, 2016 08:23 pm IST - Bhopal

The yogic exercise of “Surya Namaskar” in government schools in Madhya Pradesh has become controversial with the city Qazi issuing a “fatwa” against the practice and the State government gearing to ensure maximum participation of students in order to set a “world record.”

While Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan has made it clear that the exercise was not mandatory for all students, minority groups and the Congress-led Opposition have accused the government of attempting to saffronise school education and divide students along communal lines.

“The sun is neither saffron nor green. ‘Surya Namaskar' is a yogic exercise aimed at improving one's health and concentration and those who don't like it can choose not to participate,” media reports have quoted School Education Minister Archana Chitnis as saying.

The School Education Department has put in place arrangements to ensure maximum participation in the exercise in the coming days to get into the Guinness Book of World Records.

However, the city Qazi has issued a decree against the practice by terming it synonymous with idol worship.

“The government is hell-bent on implementing the communal agenda of the RSS and has not even spared schoolchildren. The move is clearly against the secular principles enshrined in the Constitution and seeks to divide schoolchildren along religious lines,” said Congress MLA and leader of the Opposition Ajay Singh.

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