Kerala Health Minister and senior CPI(M) leader K K Shailaja expressed reservations over rendering of a Sanskrit ‘shloka’ during the official International Yoga Day celebrations at Thiruvanthapuram on Tuesay, triggering a controversy.
Taking part in the state-level Yoga event at the Central Stadium, 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.
- View from the right: Saudi yoga lessons
- In Kerala, a yoga centre 'helps' bring back women from their non-Hindu partners
- International Yoga Day: Kerala minister asks why begin with Sanskrit prayer
- UGC writes to varsities: Govt’s ‘yoga protocol’ says chant ‘Om’, opposition protests
- Over 1.25 crore joined International Yoga Day celebrations in Gujarat
- Muslims can take Allah's name in place of shlokas: Shripad Naik
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’