International Yoga Day controversy as India is accused of pushing ‘Hindu agenda’ on Muslims
Yoga is supposed to relax. In India, however, the first International Day of Yoga on June 21 resulted in increased tensions in some parts of the country.
As reported by The Independent, the day was championed first and foremost by the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, who petitioned the UN to make the event an international affair. But as Modi himself took part in a mass yoga session on June 21, a fierce debate was raised about the government’s support of yoga – with some reportedly arguing that it is a Hindu practise which goes against Islamic teaching.
In an interview by told BBC Urdu, Kamal Farooqui, a member of the Muslim Personal Law Board, said the government, by promoting yoga is trying to push a Hindu agenda.
In response, an MP from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a Hindi nationalist party, suggested that any Muslims opposed to yoga should “go drown in the sea.”
According to India’s latest census figures, 80% of the country’s citizens are Hindu and 13.4% describe themselves as Muslim.