The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) today slammed UGC directive on chanting of ‘Om’ during Yoga Day celebrations on June 21, terming it as “unconstitutional.”
“The Government of India is governed by the Constitution, which is a secular Constitution. It has not recognised the religious sentiments of any community…The Government has no right to issue any such directive. It is in violation of the Constitution. It is totally unconstitutional,” AIMPLB member Zafaryab Jilani said.
A controversy broke out yesterday over the UGC’s directive asking universities and colleges to follow Ayush ministry’s yoga protocol that begins with chanting of ‘Om’ and some Sanskrit sholakas during Yoga Day celebrations.
“Om” is a word of Hindu religion and not of any other community like Muslims, Christians and others, Jilani said, adding that the Government cannot force the people to “chant” the words (mantras) of other religions.
The Government also cannot force to read the Geeta, Ramayan or even Quran, Jilani said, adding, “So the Government order is totally unconstitutional and without any authority.”
Jilani said that he will discuss the issue with the Board but “what action should be taken over this will be decided only by the All India Muslim personal Law Board.”
JD(U) termed the government’s move as yet another attempt to “impose the communal agenda” on Indian masses.
However, the government and BJP insisted that last year’s protocol has been maintained and no changes have been made.
“There is no compulsion to chant ‘Om’,” a senior Ayush Ministry official had said yesterday.