The Bombay High Court on Friday declined to grant an interim stay on implementation of a resolution making yoga and ‘Surya Namaskar’ (sun salutation) mandatory in civic schools in the metropolis, saying it is just a form of exercise which is good for the body. Masood Ansari, a social worker, had filed a public interest litigation in the HC challenging the August 23 resolution passed by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), contending that it violated fundamental rights and is “malafide and bad in law”.
According to the petitioner, children attending BMC run schools mainly belong to poorer sections of society and come from all religions, castes and communities. A division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice M S Sonak, however, observed that people should not look at it just by the name ‘Suryanamaskar’.
“Don’t go by the name… it is just a form of exercise which is good for the body,” Chief Justice Chellur said. The HC, while posting the petition for further hearing after two weeks, declined to grant an interim stay on implementation of the resolution.
Anjali Awasthi, counsel for the petitioner, argued today that minor students cannot be expected to perform `Surya Namaskar’, which a combination of 12 `asanas’, daily. To this, the HC said it would consider this argument at a later stage and would call for a report to ascertain if the sun salutation exercise can be performed by minors.