Yoga not to be made compulsory in Schools : Supreme Court

yoga-not-to-be-made-compulsory-in-schools-supreme-court

10th Aug 2017
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a plea seeking the framing of a national yoga policy and making the practice compulsory for students of classes 1-8 across the country.

A bench headed by Justice MB Lokur dismissed the plea and said it is for the government to take a decision on such issue. “We are nobody to say what is to be taught in schools. It is none of our business. How can we direct that,” the bench said. The apex court said it was not possible for it to grant the relief as sought by petitioners – Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, a lawyer and Delhi BJP spokesperson and J C Seth. “What is to be taught in schools is not a fundamental right,” it said.

Upadhyay had sought a direction to the Ministry of Human Resources Development, NCERT, NCTE and CBSE to “provide standard textbooks of ‘yoga and health education’ for students of Class 1-8 keeping in spirit various fundamental rights such as right to life, education and equality.”

The apex court had on November 29 last year asked the Centre to treat the petition as a representation and take a decision. The plea had said, “State has an obligation to provide health facilities to all the citizens, especially to children and adolescents. In a welfare state, it is obligation of the State to ensure the creation and sustenance of conditions congenial to good health.”

It had said that right to health cannot be secured without providing ‘yoga and health education’ to all children or framing a ‘national yoga policy’ to promote and propagate it.

Yoga?

The origins of yoga have been speculated to date back to pre-Vedic Indian traditions; it is mentioned in the Rigveda, but most likely developed around the sixth and fifth centuries BCE,[8] in ancient India’s ascetic and śramaṇa movements. The chronology of earliest texts describing yoga-practices is unclear, varyingly credited to Hindu Upanishads. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali date from the first half of the 1st millennium CE, but only gained prominence in the West in the 20th century. Hatha yoga texts emerged around the 11th century with origins in tantra.

Yoga gurus from India later introduced yoga to the west, following the success of Swami Vivekananda in the late 19th and early 20th century. In the 1980s, yoga became popular as a system of physical exercise across the Western world. Yoga in Indian traditions, however, is more than physical exercise; it has a meditative and spiritual core. One of the six major orthodox schools of Hinduism is also called Yoga, which has its own epistemology and metaphysics, and is closely related to Hindu Samkhya philosophy.

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