Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said yoga is not a religious activity while asserting that it need not be dragged into any controversy, DHNS reports from Chandigarh.
Yoga is both for the atheists and believers, Modi said, in a possible attempt to delink yoga from any one religious thought.
Leading the Yoga Day celebrations at Le Corbusier’s acclaimed creation, the Capitol Complex here, Modi, joined by over 30,000 participants, urged people not to criticise yoga and instead adopt it as a way of life.
“Some people fail to understand yoga,” he said.
Clad in a track pant and a white t-shirt, Modi went around the huge gathering before finally settling down for the session. Pink mats on green carpet provided a perfect setting on a day overcast with clouds.
Rain was expected to play spoilsport, but there was a downpour only after the event had ended successfully.
On the occasion, Modi announced two awards, one national and the other international, that would be given for promotion of yoga by the Indian government on the 3rd International Yoga Day. Also, there were no chants of “Om” at the start of the event.
Modi used the occasion to call for a fight to mitigate diabetes through yoga. “Let’s concentrate on diabetes. Lets make it our primary target for the year. India is seeing a rise in diabetes. It can at least be controlled. Let’s start a mass movement. We will pick some other ailment next year,” he exhorted.
“With zero budget, yoga provides health assurance, and does not discriminate between rich and poor,” he said. Last year, the United Nations declared June 21 as the International Day of Yoga.
Modi urged people to make yoga a part of life by drawing an analogy with mobile phones which he said have become a part of life now. “Yoga helps in reconnecting with ourselves...Eminent gynecologists suggest pregnant women to practice yoga as it helps them stay healthy,” he said.