Mizoram’s Tourism and Food Minister John Rotluangliana said on Saturday that even though there was nothing objectionable about practicing yoga as an exercise, it could also be a form of worshiping the Hindu gods when done in a particular manner. He cautioned people for the latter alleging that the current promotion of yoga is a subtle RSS plot to wean people into doing just that.
Rotluangliana’s comment comes even as Mizoram’s church leaders have asked Mizo Christians to not observe Yoga day because it falls on Sunday, a holy day for Christians. The state government has objected on similar lines to the Centre.
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The Education and Youth departments have made no plans to observe International Day of Yoga although the AYUSH wing of the state health department plans to hold a small function on Sunday and broadcast a seminar on local TV the previous evening, according to local newspaper reports.
Mizoram is a Christian-dominated state with almost nine-tenths of the population professing the Christian faith.
“June 21 is International Day of Yoga. There are Hindus even in the Congress who practice it regularly, but nowhere has our party made it compulsory,” Minister John Rotluangliana said during the weekly “political session” at Congress Bhavan in Aizawl on Friday.
“But now we hear that the Centre plans to introduce it in schools. That’s why Muslims are opposing it. There are benefits of Yoga if you wish to see it that way. It is a form of exercise that is good for health. But if we are to practice it in the way the RSS wants, we will end up worshiping their gods,” the Minister said.
“The Gita says ‘Lord Krishna is the lord of Yoga’ and yoga is a way of trying to unite the self with Lord Krishna through meditation. So it is a way of subtly leading us slowly into the Hindu way,” he said.
“If we practice Yoga in the privacy of our homes, there is nothing wrong. But if we practice it in such a way that we utter ‘Hari Om!’ then it is not appropriate,” he added.