NEW DELHI — Days ahead of the World Yoga Day on 21 June, which will see a range of government-sponsored initiatives to both promote and reclaim yoga, a Muslim organisation has said it will launch a nationwide campaign against a proposal to make 'surya namaskar', a yoga asana that salutes the sun, mandatory in schools because it is against Islam.
The executive council of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) met on Sunday and its members decided to step up its protests against forcing Muslim children to practice surya namaskar, the Hindu reported.
"Surya namaskar should not be made mandatory in government schools because Muslims bowed only before Allah," the Hindu quoted Kamaal Farooqui, a board member, as saying.
"The board has the option to move the court and to launch a movement against the proposal," Farooqui said.
The meeting of the 51-member working committee was held at Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulema in Lucknow.
AIMPLB is a private organisation that works for the promotion of Muslim personal law in India.
On February 4 this year the Rajasthan government issued orders to make surya namaskar mandatory in all government and private schools in the state. Madhya Pradesh also issued a similar direction.
The Rajasthan order is applicable for over 48,000 government schools.
Interestingly, the AIMPLB also decided during the meeting to use social media in a big way and set up a cell to monitor and post its officials' stand on Sharia-related issues, the Times Of India reported.
"It is high time that the Board made its presence felt on the social media primarily because of its reach and impact," Maulana Khalid Rasheed, a member of the executive committee of the Board, told the TOI.