Intro: If Muslim opposition was not enough, Catholic Christians have also jumped into the fray to oppose celebration of International Yog Day
It was at the call of PM Modi that 21June was declared as the International Yoga Day by the UN. For the first time, because of his efforts, the world is getting ready to observe this day. But opposing the move, the Muslim organisations in India have already raised a bogey of false propaganda that Yoga is anti-Islam.
In the past also, Muslim clerics termed Surya Namaskar as un-islamic and idolatrous. Abdul Rahim Qureshi, spokesperson for Lucknow- based All India Muslim Personal Law Board, AIMPLB said “This can’t be forced as Muslims worship only Allah.” Is this not a strange reply from the Muslim clerics? Because Muslims fast when they see the Moon and cease fasting when they see it again. If Muslim clerics had the basic knowledge of science and modern education they would have thought twice before making such irresponsible statements. They should know that Moon doesn’t have its own light and it reflects the light of the Sun! From times immemorial, Hindus have known the importance of sun rays and have been offering water (Arghya) at dawn to the Sun God. The rays of the Sun coming at the time of sun rise are not only excellent for the eyes but it also energise the entire body and soul. Even scientists have accepted the fact that the early morning sun rays are good for the human beings; after all human body is a bundle of energy.
The human body is made up of five elements, air (vayu), Water (jal), earth (prithvi), fire (energy) and space (aakash) and the cure of all the ailments of the body is amongst these five things only and the rays of the rising sun are one of these things. West has also learned the importance of the sun and has started taking Sun bath in the last century. Sun baths have become an integral part of western lifestyle and people in the West are occupying the beaches with their families for Sun baths to energise their body and soul. But unfortunately, as the Yoga day draws nearer, the Muslim clerics and their leaders are expected to oppose tooth and nail. The clerics have met the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to protest and lodge a complaint against the Yoga Day and she has told the Muslim organisations in a very clear language that Yoga is not mandatory and has no religious connotation. She also pointed out that 47 Islamic countries will also participate in the first International Yoga Day.
Yet Muslim leaders from AIMPLB, other organisations and leaders like Asaduddin Owaisi have been raising unnecessary controversy to remain in the news. The controversy created by the Muslim clerics has further cemented the opinion amongst the Hindus that Muslims still carry the mindset of the Mughal era and are bent upon opposing anything which is associated with Hinduism’s past and peaceful traditions.
Over the past ten days Muslim clerics, religious leaders and scholars are also appearing on every channel and opposing Yoga—India’s priceless gift to the world. Meanwhile, if Muslim opposition was not enough, Catholic Christians have also jumped into the fray to oppose celebration of Yoga Day. The Catholic Christians have smelt conspiracy to deny them the right to pray on Sunday. For them, Sunday is the Day of the Lord. The day is ‘reserved’ for Lord Jesus! The argument forwarded by the Church is seriously hilarious and out of this world. No Columnist with Anglo name has criticised the irresponsible statements by the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church should have known that June 21, falling on a Sunday is a mere co-incidence. In 2016, June 21, falls on Tuesday and in 2017, June 21, will fall on Wednesday. This is according to a Christian calendar. The Catholic Church and Christians should have known the fact before raking up controversy that PM Modi suggested June 21, which is the Summer solstice as the International Day of Yoga, as this date is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and has special significance in many parts of the world.
In India, in the coming days anti-Yoga statements will be in vogue and breaking news across TV channels. Opponents in Media would make all out efforts to dampen the spirits of the Yoga enthusiasts but would get a befitting reply. But irrespective of race, colour, religion and nationality, people all over the world would still celebrate first International Yoga Day with gusto not only to promote this great step taken by the UN, which comprises mainly of Catholic and Muslim countries and is in no way governed by BJP, but also to benefit their own self by meeting their inner strengths and weaknesses which is the soul of Yoga. Remember, Yoga is here to stay, even if the voices get and determined and louder enough to stall the process.
Manoj Sharma (The writer is a senior columnist)