Srinagar: Government departments and army establishments led the celebrations of International Yoga Day in Kashmir on Tuesday. One event, though, was shifted to Jammu by minister for health and medical education Bali Bhagat as there was some “official reluctance”.
The department of Indian Systems of Medicine (ISM) organised a major event in Srinagar’s indoor stadium that saw bureaucrats, doctors and youth stretching their bodies for an hour starting at 7 am. The department had asked its district officers to conduct the yoga event at their headquarters.
The session at the indoor stadium was conducted by a woman from Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s The Art of Living. Among the bureaucrats stretching their bodies along with activists of Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali group were commissioner secretary health MK Bhandari and director health Dr Saleem-ur-Rehman
Dr Farooq Ahmad, the ISM naturopathy medical officer, supervised the event. He said that the postures and exercises were designed according to wishes of Muslims.
“I chalked out which poses we should avoid during Ramazan because people have had food before the event,” he said, mentioning neck rotation, child pose, pranayama and meditation pose as the ones he had avoided.
Dr Ahmad said that though yoga was being tagged with a particular religion, it was not so.
A month ago, the plan for the Yoga Day was for roping in the education department in the event as well. But Minister for Health and Medical Education Bali Bhagat shifted it to Jammu and held a mega event there, an official told Kashmir Reader.
“There was some official reluctance in Kashmir as well. Majority of people were not comfortable with holding Yoga event here,” said the official.
Deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh held a yoga event at his official residence in Srinagar. BJP vice president Hina Bhat said she held a yoga event at her home where around 150 people participated.
Kashmir’s central university held a low-key yoga event at its Nowgam campus.
Slogans of ‘unity’ and ‘harmony’ were everywhere on banners today as the army joined the awaam of Kashmir at various places to celebrate the second International Yoga Day. The army held yoga events in its camps and in army goodwill schools run by it in Kashmir. Yoga events were held in Srinagar’s Badami Bagh cantonment, and in Pattan, Shalateng and Awantipora near the Line of Control.