No Muslim body on Yoga Day invitees’ list in Gujarat : The Tribune India

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No Muslim body on Yoga Day invitees’ list in Gujarat

AHMEDABAD: The BJP government in Gujarat has sparked off a controversy of sorts by not listing any Muslim organisation in the state for invitation to participate in the International Yoga Day celebrations on June 21.



Manas Dasgupta

Ahmedabad, June 12

The BJP government in Gujarat has sparked off a controversy of sorts by not listing any Muslim organisation in the state for invitation to participate in the International Yoga Day celebrations on June 21.

The government expects that at least 25 to 30 per cent of the state's 6 crore population, including students, will join the celebrations despite it being a Sunday but is silent about the Muslim organisations.

In Ahmedabad, the state's commercial capital, it has planned a congregation of at least 70,000 people at the official ceremony at the sprawling Gujarat University grounds.

An official circular issued by the state government to district authorities has given a detailed list of the organisations that "must be invited for propagating Yoga in a proper manner." The organisations listed in the GR (Government Resolution) included the cultural and Yoga training institutes such as the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Bochasanvasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sansthan (BAPS), Brahmakumaris, Swadhyay Parivar, Dada Bhagwan Parivar, Ramkrishna Math, the Art of Living, Patanjali Yoga Kendra of Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev and others. "The administration has to see the initiative of Yoga Divas is propagated through these organisations in a proper manner," it said. But it did not name any Muslim organisation.

An official spokesman for the state government, however, said the Muslim organisations could come forward voluntarily if they were interested. He said the government had constituted district-level committees to promote public participation in the event. "Invitations have been issued to voluntary organisations such as Lions Club, Rotary Club and others. Muslim organisations will be free to participate if willing to," he said.

The BJP's Minority Morcha, however, find nothing amiss about the government GR missing the Muslim organisations to invite to participate. "The members of the minority cell of the party will take part in the Yoga Day events but we will not compel others to join," Mehboob Ali Baba, president of state BJP Minority Morcha, said. He pointed out that the Centre had given the Muslims an option to avoid "surya namaskar" if they wanted to and "that should take care of their reservations about participating in the event," he said.

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