Today is International Yoga Day, and it comes as a whiff of fresh breeze that Muslim youth in Madhya Pradesh practiced Yoga, and emphatically said that it should not be associated with religion. This is a welcome departure from the position of orthodox clerics who call Yogaanti-Islam and encroachment upon Islamic culture.
Yoga, which is a set of exercises and breathing techniques, should not be viewed from the parochial prism of religion, or imposition of certain religious values on others. It is downright regressive and communal to mix religion in everything.
Hindustan Times quoted a 16 year old Gulnaz as saying that Islam doesn’t get affected by a morning exercise called Yoga, and those who term it un-Islamic are ignorant. For other students, Yoga is way to improve concentration and keep mind and body healthy. It is a really narrow minded approach to resist it on the ground of being against religion.
It is good that the youth are breaking the shackles of orthodoxy and going by what the clerics say. Religions evolve with time, and practises which are not in sync with modern values, are discarded. Religions shouldn’t be static. They are like a free flowing stream. Exclusion and insulation will only feed religious supremacism and bigotry.