09/06/2015 11:19 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Yogi Adityanath: Jump Into The Sea If You Object To Surya Namaskar

STRDEL via Getty Images
An Indian man performs 'Surya Namaskar' - Salute to the Sun - during the first sunrise of the year 2015 in the northern hill town of Shimla on January 1, 2015. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images)

Ahead of celebrating its first International Yoga Day on June 21, India's centuries-old legacy of meditation-and-exercise is becoming a source of religious tensions in the country.

On Monday, Bharatiya Janata Party's controversial lawmaker Yogi Adityanath suggested that those who objected to the 'Surya-Namaskar,' a yoga exercise performed in reverence to the sun, live in a closed room or must jump into the sea.

While he did not refer to any specific religious community, the controversial lawmaker appeared to be reacting to objections raised by the All India Muslim Personal Law Board against the Modi-government's proposal of making the Surya-Namaskar mandatory in schools.

"Surya namaskar should not be made mandatory in government schools because Muslims bowed only before Allah," Kamaal Farooqui, a board member, said on Monday.

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