As 193 nations took part in the International Yoga Day event yesterday, including India, a group of students at IIT-Roorkee were forced into it, suggests a circular issued to them by the authorities.
The circular, purportedly from the Dean of IIT Roorkee, said: “All the students of IIT Roorkee summer hostels are hereby directly to compulsorily attend one week yoga camp from June 18, 2015 to June 24, 2015. Attendance in the yoga camp is mandatory and will be recorded on the spot every day.”
Speaking to Janta Ka Reporter, one of the students at the hostel confirmed the circular and said, “Yoga has been made compulsory for the students staying at college now.”
Later, the IITR dean went into damage control mode and stated that Muslims and those fasting (Roza) were exempt from the Yoga Camp.
The government had claimed that participation in its International Yoga Day celebrations on Sunday was voluntary.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi joined thousands of participants in Delhi to mark the first International Yoga Day. Dressed in a white top with a tricolour sash around his neck, Modi diligently followed the instructions on the mic along with nearly 40,000 others yoga enthusiasts.
Speaking before the session, he talked about the importance of yoga. “Yoga is not just for contorting your body into shapes. If that were true, people working in the circus would be called yogis. Yoga is for a tension-free world.” Among the asanas he performed were Padmasana, Vajrasana, Setu Bandha Sarvangasana and kapalbhatti. Earlier on Sunday the PM had tweeted, “Greetings to people around the world on 1st International Day of Yoga! Let’s pledge to make Yoga an integral part of our daily lives #YogaDay.”
The government hopes that this event featuring bureaucrats, ministers and soldiers, will make it to the Guinness Book of World Records for the “largest yoga class at a single event. ” Till now, the largest such session was by nearly 30,000 students in Gwalior. Modi had spoken about the need to mark a yoga day across day during his maiden visit the United Nations last year and 193 nations have agreed to be a part of the celebrations.
(Image courtesy – Sanyam Bahga)