The UPA government’s key constituents, the Congress and the Left, were the most vocal critics when the BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh government, headed by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, started yoga classes, especially the ‘Surya Namaskar’ and ‘Pranayam’, in schools and colleges across the state. But the latest report tabled by a Parliamentary Standing Committee that includes high-profile Congress and Left MPs says the exact opposite.
Headed by Congress general secretary and MP Janardhan Dwivedi, the Standing Committee of the HRD ministry — with CPM politburo member Brinda Karat and Congress MP Rahul Gandhi as its members — has recommended that yoga should be made mandatory for all schoolgoing children in the country.
The report, without any dissent note by any of its members, has said: “The Committee is of the opinion that yoga is one stream of education, which will make a permanent and positive impact on a student’s life. Yoga has been gaining immense popularity due to the short-term as well as long-term benefits that it provides.
“Yoga helps one to achieve all-round development. Considering the vast potential of this ancient knowledge of India, the committee recommends that yoga be made compulsory for all school-going children in the country.”
The committee’s 188th report to the Parliament is in lieu of action taken on the recommendations or observations contained in the 174th report on demands for grants 2006-07 of the department of higher education in May this year. It was tabled in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha yesterday.
In response to the recommendation, Arjun Singh’s HRD ministry, in the report itself, has said that “the National Curriculum Framework for School Education – 2005 prepared by the NCERT provides for health and physical education as a compulsory subject from primary to secondary stage and as an optional subject at higher secondary stage. Yoga is one of the core components of health and physical education.” It may be recalled that Congress MLAs in MP had boycotted a yoga session held in MP assembly on February 20, which was conducted under the supervision of Baba Ramdev.