Centre wants yoga in paramilitary forces drills

With the NDA government popularising yoga in a big way, the Union Home Ministry has asked the paramilitary forces to include this “invaluable gift of India's ancient tradition” in their daily physical drills.

In a letter to the forces, the ministry has asked their directors general to issue “appropriate instructions to all field formations” to include yoga as part of daily physical exercises on priority and “submit the action-taken report” on it.

“Physical exercises are part of daily routine of CAPFs and Assam Rifles personnel in various field formations like battalions, group centres, border outposts, etc. Keeping in view the importance yoga has gained in recent times, it would be prudent to include yoga as part of daily physical exercise of CAPFs and Assam Rifles personnel in various field establishments,” said the letter.

It reminded the directors general that yoga has been recognised at the international level, and United Nation has declared June 21 as International Yoga Day.

The letter said, it is the “responsibility of everyone” to preserve this "invaluable gift" of India's ancient tradition by adopting it as a part of daily activity. In an apparent reference to suicides by paramilitary personnel, the letter highlighted that yoga would also help them “beat stress, if any, and keep them physically as well as mentally better off”.

However, murmurs of dissent are already being heard from a section in the paramilitary forces, who said yoga cannot replace the hard physical exercise needed for personnel to tackle difficult situations.

Yoga is part of the introductory and refresher training courses of these forces, but not conducted daily in active-duty and hard areas.

While acknowledging yoga's importance, some said forces need to focus on their needs and it would be difficult to arrange for yoga sessions in various formations.

Senior paramilitary officials said they were formulating action plans to initiate the process of including yoga in their drills.

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