Let us celebrate the halasana, the “plough posture”, which suggests that the seeds of yoga lie in India’s rolling fields and farms. Let us rejoice, for the minister for agriculture has promised state backing for yogic farming. Farmers will be empowered with Rajayoga, on the basis of numerous studies allegedly conducted on this arcane subject. So far, almost so good. But the notion that the energised farmers will act like human capacitors and discharge beneficial rays on their sacks of seed, potash and nitrate, causing cabbages and radishes to spring briskly and autochthonously from the soil, is really a bit much. Never mind the physics and chemistry, is it even legal to irradiate GM seeds with parmatma shakti? Wouldn’t an astral licence be necessary?
Rajayoga will apparently replenish the farmer’s lost confidence in the “age-tested knowledge of farming”. Is the good minister, then, speaking up for the loonies who think the Green Revolution was a great perversion with no redeeming qualities? Would the minister oppose GM trials, then, since the technology removes agriculture even further from traditional practices? If ancient technologies like grafting are better than the modern practice of fiddling with genetic material, perhaps there is reason to rewind beyond the agricultural revolution and recapture the lost glory of the hunter-gatherers? Numerous peer-reviewed studies suggest that humans find it hard to digest grains, pulses and milk because the fruits of agriculture were not part of the ancient diet. Shall we discard them?
Essentially, this nation is all for yoga, and it should be performed in the farthest field as enthusiastically as it was on the capital’s Rajpath. But yoga is a tool useful for the objectives of the health ministry, not the agriculture ministry. The cabbages and radishes can do without it. They get their health kick from phosphates.