Kerala Health Minister and senior CPI(M) leader K K Shailaja today expressed reservations over rendering of a Sanskrit ‘shloka’ during the official International Yoga Day celebrations here, triggering a controversy.
Taking part in the state-level Yoga event at the Central Stadium here, the Minister asked the officials whether the ‘shloka’ (a couplet of Sanskrit verse) was necessary to be included in the programme schedule.
“Ours is a secular country. Each religious community can have its own prayers to concentrate before starting yoga practice. Those who do not believe in any religion also have their own methods to make the mind concentrate,” she said adding that a commonly accepted prayer could have been included in such an event.
As the issue triggered a controversy with the BJP criticising her, the Minister later clarified to the media that she just expressed her doubt whether rendering such a ‘shloka’ was necessary in such a public function, participated by people belonging to various religious communities.
She dismissed reports that she had sought an explanation from the officials for including the ‘shloka’ in the programme schedule.
BJP state unit President Kummanom Rajasekharan criticised Shylaja over the issue and said her act was ‘condemnable’ and she should approach yoga ‘imbibing the reality’.