Seeking to underline that yoga is being politicised and used as a publicity tool, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday said: Yoga vyaktigat cheez hai, prachaar wala yog alag hai aur karne wala yog alag hai (Yoga is a personal thing. The one done for publicity is different from the one done for exercise).” Nitish’s statement comes as the BJP-ruled NDA is gearing up to celebrate the third International Yoga Day on June 21 across the country.
The Bihar Chief Minister, a yoga practitioner himself, in an indirect reference to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its pet yoga initiative, said yoga can fetch votes as well. “Jo log yog karte hain kum se kum apne top leaders ko bhi yog karwayen. Yog se bhi vote ka bhog dekh rahe hain (People who perform yoga should make their top leaders do it. We can see yoga can bring votes).”
Last year, too, Nitish, who was apparently miffed with Prime Minister Narendra Modi for ignoring his appeal for nationwide liquor ban, had decided against observing Yoga Day in Bihar. He had celebrated World Music Day instead.
On June 21, PM Modi will lead some 55,000 people in performing ‘asanas’ (yogic postures) at the Ramabai Ambedkar Maidan in Lucknow with commandos and para-military forces keeping a close watch in and around the venue and providing an elaborate security.
A police official had said police chiefs of adjoining districts of Lucknow have also been alerted to take preventive measures. They have been alerted especially in the wake of a call given by Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) to stage dharnas on highways. The protesting farmers have said they will perform ‘shavasanas’ or the corpse pose in protest.