Shimla, June 21 (IANS) Union Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjit Singh on Tuesday said the world was celebrating International Yoga Day by rising above religion.
Taking part in yoga exercises here, he said even Muslim countries were celebrating the International Yoga Day.
“India became the first country to spread yoga across the world,” he told reporters.
Functions were held across Himachal Pradesh to mark the second International Yoga Day. However, no minister from the Congress-ruled state was present on the occasion.
Former Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and local legislator Suresh Bhardwaj also took part in the event in the state capital along with Rao, which was held amid cloudy conditions.
“Yog means connecting people… sixteen out of the 193 countries would also soon adopt yoga,” Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Dhumal told reporters.
Governor Acharya Devvrat performed Yoga at Raj Bhawan, where a large number of locals were present.
“Yoga is an important part of our rich culture and tradition and purifies mind and soul,” he said in a message.
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh is away in New Delhi. His cabinet colleagues chose to stay away from the functions.
Yoga guru Ramdev’s Patanjali Yogpeeth Trust said 152 yoga camps were organised across the state in which thousands of people participated.
BCCI chief Anurag Thakur and cricketer Harbhajan Singh participated in an event with hundreds of students and others at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association’s picturesque stadium in Dharamsala amid a drizzle.
“I will keep myself associated with yoga,” Harbhajan Singh said.
Thakur said there was nothing religious in yoga. “Every human being irrespective of his/her religion can do yoga.”
Kangra MP Shanta Kumar organised a function in his hometown Palampur in Kangra district in which a large number of foreigners were present.