Congress leader Manish Tewari on Thursday charged the Maharashtra Government of trying to shove yoga down people’s throat, adding that it should be left to the individual’s choice to pursue yoga or not.
Criticising the Maharashtra Government for its decision to make Yoga Day compulsory for schools across the state on June 21, Tewari said, “Yoga has been internationally acclaimed as possibly the most holistic exercise for the body. But yes, it should be optional. If somebody wants to do yoga, he should do yoga. If somebody wants to run, he should be allowed to run. And, if somebody wants to become a couch potato, that is his or her prerogative. Trying to make anything compulsory, trying to shove something down people’s throat is taking away the essence of what should be voluntarily accepted by people.”
The Maharashtra Government has made compulsory observation of Yoga Day across schools in the state. Students from all educational institutions in Maharashtra have been asked to attend their schools and colleges on June 21-which falls on a Sunday-to mark the International Yoga Day.
Senior clerics and Muslim community leaders have opposed the state government’s order asking the schools to remain open on June 21 to mark International Yoga Day and demanded that the celebrations be made optional.
The United Nations declared June 21 as International Day of Yoga last year.