New Delhi, Aug 8 (IANS) Communists have no objection to yoga, which helps to maintain sound health, the CPI-M says, adding the opposition is only to a religious colouring being given to it.
The party journal “People’s Democracy” says in its latest issue that yoga has become popular in the world not just because many of the “asanas” have proved to be beneficial to those suffering from ailments.
“Even for people who do not have any physical problem, regular yogic exercise has been seen to be extremely conducive to maintaining good health and improving flexibility of the muscles,” it said.
The journal was responding to a query from a Communist Party of India-Marxist member on why Left-led governments in the country promoted yoga in schools and whether this amounted to “saffronisation”.
“The breathing asanas and the yogic methods of relaxation and meditation are also widely practised and contribute to general well being,” the People’s Democracy said.
“There can, therefore, be no objection to the promotion of yoga among the general public and school going children and young people as long as certain very important points are kept in mind and implemented.”
The CPI-M then underlined where its objections lay.
“The Hindutva forces want to project yoga as a part of the Hindu cultural heritage and give it a religious colouring,” it said. “We are against this approach.”
The party also said that asanas should not be taught to very young children and yoga classes should be started only after students are at least 10 years old.
Also, yoga teachers must be appointed only after they have taken proper and rigorous training, it said. And yoga teachers must discuss individual problems with each person in the class.
“There is a great danger that in their enthusiasm for the promotion of yoga, governments and government institutions will not pay attention to these essential issues and in the process more harm than good will be done and yoga will itself be blamed for their shortcomings,” it said.