Skip to main content

Muslim law board knows not: Yoga's only link with Hinduism is it evolved in India

Mohan Guruswamy* calls All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB)as the Muslim equivalent of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad:
***
The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), the Muslim equivalent of the VHP, has opposed the celebration of the International Yoga day on June 21. It has been so for a few years now. It is utterly misguided, unfortunate and silly. The Board describes Yoga as a religious symbol. It is not. It is just a school of balance focused exercises - pure and simple. Like Tai Chi.
They specifically cite the Surya Namaskar as offensive when it is nothing but a common sequence of asanas. Most Hindus revere the Sun as it is the giver of life and sustenance. Because of this some of Hindus set aside a portion of their daily worship for making salutations to the Sun by prostrations. This method of adoration affords them so much muscular activity that it takes to some extent the place of physical exercise.
Muslims can practice these very same asanas without worshipping the Sun. But before they reject the Sun salutation they will do well to reacall Allama Iqbal who wrote: "Ai aaftaab! Hum ko zia-e-shaoor de/ Chasm-e-khird ko apni tajjali se noor de." (O radiant one! Grant us the grace of wisdom/Let our eyes see reason in your resplendent glow.)
I only hope that some of the "grace of wisdom" will penetrate the dark recesses of minds in the AIMPLB. Muslims as whole will do well to listen to saner voices in the community like Prof. Mohammed Abbas Niazi of AMU who said yesterday: "Yoga is an exercise and no religion can be against a healthy life style." Or just dont do Yoga quietly without making a hullabaloo over it. But dont dismiss it as unsecular. Yoga is not an extension of Hinduism.
Yoga's only association with Hinduism is that it evolved in India. By this standard they should be opposing many mathematical principles that evolved in ancient India and think of Algebra as an exclusive Islamic discipline. Yoga is a non sectarian physical and mental health oriented set of exercises. If Yoga is Hindu then Karate is Buddhist, Kung Fu is Confucian and Taekwondo also Buddhist. The AIMPLB should seek a ban on them too?
My advice to them is to stop being silly and join the country as it celebrates a traditional self care system that is now practiced world over. Indian Muslims should be as proud of it as Hindus or Sikhs or Buddhists. By behaving in this immature and petulant manner the AIMPLB is only souring relations between the two major Indian religious groups.
Having said this the RSS governments all over India are trying to impose Yoga in schools on all. They have turned it into a Hindu totem, like they have made Sardar Patel a shakha icon.
Like any exercise, Yoga too should be secularised and optional. Those who want to skip yoga can use it for some other form of exercise. But exercise is a must. When I was in school, we used to have an exercise period everyday. Some played soccer, others played kabaddi, some just marched about drilled by the NCC instructor. We didnt have Yoga then. It was still a western fad.
---
From author's Facebook post

Comments

TRENDING

'Anti-poor stand': Even British wouldn't reduce Railways' sleeper and general coaches

By Anandi Pandey, Sandeep Pandey*  Probably even the British, who introduced railways in India, would not have done what the Bhartiya Janata Party government is doing. The number of Sleeper and General class coaches in various trains are surreptitiously and ominously disappearing accompanied by a simultaneous increase in Air Conditioned coaches. In the characteristic style of BJP government there was no discussion or debate on this move by the Indian Railways either in the Parliament or outside of it. 

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Why convert growing badminton popularity into an 'inclusive sports opportunity'

By Sudhansu R Das  Over the years badminton has become the second most popular game in the world after soccer.  Today, nearly 220 million people across the world play badminton.  The game has become very popular in urban India after India won medals in various international badminton tournaments.  One will come across a badminton court in every one kilometer radius of Hyderabad.  

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Faith leaders agree: All religious places should display ‘anti-child marriage’ messages

By Jitendra Parmar*  As many as 17 faith leaders, together for an interfaith dialogue on child marriage in New Delhi, unanimously have agreed that no faith allows or endorses child marriage. The faith leaders advocated that all religious places should display information on child marriage.

How embracing diversity enriched my life, brought profound sense of joy

By Mike Ghouse*  If you can shed the bias towards others, you'll love the connections with every human that God or his systems have created. This gives a sense of freedom and brings meaning and joy to life. Embracing and respecting how people dress, eat, and practice their beliefs becomes an enriching experience.

Ayurveda, Sidda, and knowledge: Three-day workshop begins in Pala town

By Rosamma Thomas*  Pala town in Kottayam district of Kerala is about 25 km from the district headquarters. St Thomas College in Pala is currently hosting a three-day workshop on knowledge systems, and gathered together are philosophers, sociologists, medical practitioners in homeopathy and Ayurveda, one of them from Nepal, and a few guests from Europe. The discussions on the first day focused on knowledge systems, power structures, and epistemic diversity. French researcher Jacquiline Descarpentries, who represents a unique cooperative of researchers, some of whom have no formal institutional affiliation, laid the ground, addressing the audience over the Internet.

Banned Maoist party protests in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, claims support across globe

By Harsh Thakor*  Despite being a banned and designated as terrorist organisation under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act since 2009, the Communist Party of India (Maoist) is said to have successfully implemented a one-day bandh across Kolhan division in Jharkhand on July 10th, with repurcussions in the neighbouring Chhattisgarh. The bandh was called to protest against alleged police brutality in the Kolhan-Saranda region.

Hindutva economics? 12% decline in manufacturing enterprises, 22.5% fall in employment

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  The messiah of Hindutva politics, Narendra Modi, assumed office as the Prime Minister of India on May 26, 2014. He pledged to transform the Indian economy and deliver a developed nation with prosperous citizens. However, despite Modi's continued tenure as the Prime Minister, his ambitious electoral promises seem increasingly elusive.