The International Yoga Day event here on June 21 is likely to witness participation of Muslims in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
International Day of Yoga or commonly and unofficially referred to as Yoga Day, is celebrated annually on 21 June since its inception in 2015. An international day for yoga was declared unanimously by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on 11 December 2014.
Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual practice attributed mostly to India. The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his UN address suggested the date of 21 June, as it is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and shares special significance in many parts of the world.
The idea of an International Day of Yoga was first proposed by the Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi during his speech at the UNGA, on 27 September 2014.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated at UN General Assembly:“Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in wellbeing. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day”.
Following this initial proposal, the UNGA held informal consultations on the draft resolution entitled “International Day of Yoga”, on 14 October 2014. The consultations were convened by the delegation of India.
On 11 December 2014, India’s Permanent Representative Asoke Mukherji introduced the draft resolution in United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The draft text received broad support from 177 Member States who sponsored the text, which was adopted without a vote.
This initiative found support from many global leaders. A total of 177 nations co-sponsored the resolution, which is the highest number of co-sponsors ever for any UNGA resolution of such nature.
The first International Day of Yoga was observed world over on 21 June 2015. The Ministry of Ayush made the necessary arrangements in India. 35,985 people, including Narendra Modi and a large number of dignitaries from 84 nations, performed 21 Yoga asanas (postures) for 35 minutes at Rajpath, in New Delhi.
The day devoted to yoga was observed by millions across the world. NCC cadets entered the Limca Book of Records for the “largest yoga performance simultaneously by a single uniformed youth organisation” by performing at multiple venues.
The event at Rajpath established two Guinness World records awarded to the Ministry of AYUSH and received by AYUSH minister Shripad Yesso Naik. The two records were for the largest yoga class, featuring 35,985 people, and for the largest number of participating nationalities (84 nations).
During the first International Yoga Day celebrations in Delhi, the Prime Minister led more than 35,000 participants performing yoga.
This year’s International Yoga Day celebrations here, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will have for company scores of Roza observing Muslims who will be performing various asanas. At least 300 Muslim men and women under the banner of the Muslim Rashtriya Manch will be among the 55,000 strong participants at the Ramabai Ambedkar Maidan.
Mahiraj Dhwaj Singh, national co-convener of the Muslim Rashtriya Manch for UP and Uttarakhand said, “More than 1,000 Muslims had contacted us about participating in the International Yoga Day celebrations, but at least 300 have confirmed their participation. Most of the participants will be observing roza, while performing yoga”.
“In fact most of them are likely to arrive to the programme venue after Sehri (pre-dawn meal),” Mr Singh added and also said that a request seeking a separate area for the Muslims participants will be made to the organisers. Uttar Pradesh’s minister for Muslim Waqf and Haj Mohsin Raza also confirmed his participation in the event.
Azam Khan, the national president of Shriram Mandir Nirman Muslim Karsevak Manch, will also be performing yoga while fasting. “I will be participating in the third International Yoga Day celebrations and performing various yoga asanas (postures),” Azam Khan said.
LED screens will be installed at different parks in Lucknow for the convenience of citizens, so that visitors could also participate simultaneously. Directions have already been issued to hold a 28 day workshop for the participants prior to the International Yoga Day.
The main programme would be the mass yoga demonstration from 7.00 am to 8.00 am, which will adhere to Common Yoga Protocol. Other events would include yoga fests, seminars, workshops, musical and cultural programmes.