Surya Namaskar scrapped, ‘Om’ optional: Govt

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The government today stood firm on its decision to not include ‘surya namaskar’ and ‘om’ chanting in the set of ‘asanas’ to be performed during the official celebrations to mark the International Yoga Day.

“The controversy has ended. ‘Surya namaskar’ is not part of the protocol and chanting of ‘om’ is not compulsory, wherein people can chant in the name of the god they wish,” Union Minister of State for AYUSH Shripad Naik said.

Several Muslim groups had expressed reservations against offering ‘surya namaskar’ and reciting Sanskrit ‘slokas’ during the yoga ‘asanas’ to be performed during the June 21 event.

Replying to a question on the opposition from a section of Hindu organisations against the government’s decision to exclude ‘surya namaskar’ and chanting of ‘om’ in the ‘asanas’ to be performed during the celebrations, he said, “We will convince them later.”

“We have got this opportunity and our Prime Minister has done a good job. This International Yoga Day we have to celebrate without any disturbance. The programme will be nicely held on (June) 21. There is no problem at all,” he told reporters on the sidelines of an event here.

“It is not in the government’s protocol to perform ‘surya namaskar’…Some NGOs are doing programmes of their own and there are thousands of ‘asanas’ there. They can choose anything for their own programme,” the minister added.

Reiterating that people can chant as per own their faith, Naik said, chanting of ‘om’ was not compulsory.

Earlier, Naik released a brochure for the upcoming ‘Make in India – Make in Kerala’ summit, which is organised under the aegis of the Centre and the Kerala government to enhance the industrial climate in Kerala in July.

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