With Prime Minister Narendra Modi set to lead the Yoga Day celebrations on Rajpath on June 21, the government is trying to ensure a decent turnout. The health ministry has issued a circular asking all officers of the rank of under secretary and above to attend the 35-minute function starting 7 am that day. Sources in the Ayush ministry said it has asked all ministries to issue similar circulars.
“All officers of the rank of under secretary and above are requested to participate in the event on the specified date and time. The soft copy of the booklet on common protocol of yoga asanas to be performed during mass yoga demonstration on International Day of Yoga 2015 is available on the following link of the ministry of Ayush http://www.nhp.gov.in/international/day/yoga/2015,” stated the May 26 health ministry circular signed by Under Secretary Manoj Kumar. The link, however, is yet to be operational.
“We have written to all ministries asking them to issue a circular for their staff. The idea is that all within the government should benefit, especially those interested in yoga. It is not just about attendance but also about performing the asanas and meditation. They should come after practising (the asanas) and after watching our DVD, reading the booklet. Rank should not be an issue,” a source in the Ayush ministry said.
Among the asanas featured on the government’s National Health Profile website under the Yoga Day head are Surya Namaskar, Chakrasana, Natrajasana, Vatayanasana, Padmasana, Siddhasana, Vajarasana, Halasana, Sarvangasana, Bhujangasana and Shalabhasana. It is not immediately clear which of these will be performed by the Prime Minister.
The government is targeting a turnout of about 45,000 for the event, which is being organised by the Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga under the Ayush ministry.
The circular has left health ministry officials flummoxed as many of them are not regular yoga practitioners. It would also mean “reporting for work” very early on a Sunday morning, to practise postures that require considerable degrees of physical fitness.