Yoga and magichttps://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/international-yoga-day-narendra-modi-2869926/

Yoga and magic

Ministers struck awkward poses. If there is maun yoga, let Salman Khan practice it.

International Yoga Day, Chandigarh Schools, Capitol complex, PM Modi, Narendra Modi, regional news, India News
Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the 2nd International Day of Yoga at the Capitol Complex in Chandigarh on Tuesday. (PTI Photo)

So we’re still in a yogic pose and it’s difficult to get our head straight after standing on it in salabhasana and sirsasana since Sunday when the India News TV reporter told us that yoga was the perfect practice — for body and soul. He could be right; our brains and guts are always in a yogic twist, aren’t they?

So, yoga it is, especially at Yog Gram, Ramdevji’s ashram where Ardh Satya’s reporter learnt the cardinal principles of a healthy life. He may have been puzzled by their similarity to journalistic practices: What to eat, when to eat, why to eat fruits and how (much) to eat. To confirm his findings, he asked a lady visitor, “Are you a little better?” “Ji,” she replied (what else could she say, no, I’m worse?). A gentleman then revealed that his three-year old knee problem had improved by 90 per cent in just one week at Yog Gram. That’s not yoga, man, that’s magic.

He ought to have joined Ramdevji at Sunday’s India Gate practice for International Yoga Day, instead of Union minister Venkaiah Naidu, who, standing beside the yoga maestro found that wearing a dhoti was the wrong choice for the occasion. He got quite entangled in its folds and may have blushed had he known the nation was watching him on a live broadcast (Aaj Tak, India TV and APN).

He’s not the only one whose blushes were not spared. On Yoga Day which received all day coverage on Tuesday, enough to rival Republic Day, the prime minister struck some perfect poses for TV cameras but his ministers were often found making the wrong moves.

Advertising

And DD News lined them all up for us to see: “Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh performed yoga in Lucknow (in the rain).” “Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi performed yoga in Meerut”. “Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad performed yoga in Patna” etc. Others included Smriti Irani, Amit Shah, CM Raman Singh and CM Chouhan who rolled out the mat in Beijing.

Meanwhile, India Today had the happy idea of rating the ministers’ yogic poses and many were on the mat — barring Uma Bharati who did breathing exercises on her chair for health reasons.

Suffice it to say, few ministers did themselves or yoga proud. Most were stiff and clearly in need of a few lessons from their PM before they’re caught on candid camera next year.

Watching TV, it seemed as if everyone and the world did yoga (except opposition party leaders). Indeed, “more than 135 countries” celebrated Yoga Day — even the Indian Navy on INS Viraat (DD News), the stewardess on at least one flight (Zee News) and actors Bipasha Basu and Rakhi Sawant (India News). OK News told us there was yoga so hot, the sweat dripped like a leaky faucet as well as boxing yoga and cycling yoga. Take your pick.

Is there a maun yoga exercise? If not, let Salman Khan practice and patent it immediately. The PM would have been displeased with the Sultan of swing whose thoughtless and offensive remark on rape, spun the news channels out of control. The “rape shocker” (India Today) displaced yoga as the main news of the day, Tuesday, as anchors and reporters alike fumed with righteous anger at the actor’s feeling like a “raped woman” and not apologising for it.

Salman received more coverage than he deserved. As Shailendra Singh said on Times Now, why give him so much importance?

Lastly, you may or may not have noticed there are many more Hindi news channels and foreign news channels available now on DTH services. So when you’re not practising yoga, you can watch channels from Japan, Singapore, Australia, Russia, Germany and France as well as Samachar, Samachar Plus, India 24×7, APN, News World India, India News UP/Uttarakhand, Prime News, OK News and many more. Like yoga, news TV is international.