50 Lakh Students Participate in 'Surya Namaskar' in MP
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Around 50 lakh students across Madhya Pradesh today took part in Surya Namaskar ignoring Opposition protests and fatwa by Muslim clerics even as Congress leader Digvijay Singh saw nothing wrong in the yogic exercise and said it should not be equated with religion.

"Nearly 50 lakh students across the state took part in the Surya Namaskar exercise, which is a record in itself," an official said.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan led from the front the event, which is an attempt by the state government to set a Guinness record of collective performance of the exercise.

The School Education Department had made elaborate arrangements for ensuring grand presence in the event which is being organised every year in the state since 2007 on the occasion of Swami Vivekanand's birthday.

Digvijay Singh dismissed the claims of the government as a mere gimmick saying, "There are so many issues like corruption, malnutrition, people are not getting fertilizers, electricity but the Madhya Pradesh government wants to make a world record. It's just a political gimmick."

He, however, said that the exercise should not be equated with religion.

"It is a yoga aasan. It is a form of exercise," he said.

Defending the decision to organise the event, Chouhan told reporters, "Surya Namaskar is not associated with any particular religion. It is a yogic exercise having a unique coordination of mind and body aimed at keeping a person perfectly alright."

However, he said the participation was not mandatory.

He also clarified that the exercise was not organised merely with an aim to get the feat registered in the Guinness Book of Records.

The minority community heads had strongly opposed the move and issued "fatwa" directing people not to take part in the Surya Namaskar exercise.

Opposition Congress termed the move as an attempt to please the RSS leadership as part of its saffron agenda.

The Isai Mahasangh termed the move "unconstitutional" and added that they will approach the Guinness authorities asking them not to include the state-sponsored exercise in its records as it is aimed at promoting communal discord in the multi-religious society.
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Daily Mail

Jan 12, 2012
04:22 PM

But for the 'FATWA' it would have been only 25 lakhs!

agosuke, Bangalore
Jan 12, 2012
03:30 PM

@Naga.. >> it is a force without which life on this planet will come to an end

There are plenty of stuff without which life will cease to exist like water , air , electricity etc.....so according to u we have to respect all these and do a 'Namaskar' everyday to each of them ??

Naga how old are u?..plz grow up for god sake !!

Jo Mb, kolkata
Jan 12, 2012
03:05 PM

Atleast it is a force without which life on this planet will come to an end,unlike a deadpan wall infront which some pray or two pieces of wood nailed to give it a plus mark which is treated as divine by some others.On the otherhand,one should respect for seeing divinity in one's own way,rather than make derisive comments.

S.S.Nagaraj, Bangalore
Jan 12, 2012
02:20 PM

Surya or the Sun is a Huge ball of fire and its life will end in another 4.5 billion year ....so whats this ritual or exercise all about ???

Jo Mb, kolkata
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