MUMBAI: Raza Academy has vehemently opposed Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) approval of the proposal making yoga and ‘Surya Namaskar’ mandatory in all civic schools in Mumbai.
As and when BMC’s proposal came into notice, an emergency meet was called by President Mohammed Saeed Noori, as the proposal threatened the right of religion.
Noori said to TimesHeadline.com , “Surya Namaskar is a yogic exercise that demands the person to face the sun and hum the word “OM”, which is directly related to the Hindu Faith. This stands as a compulsion unacceptable to Muslims.”
With the Sena-BJP ruled Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) approval of the proposal making yoga and ‘Surya Namaskar’ mandatory in all civic schools in Mumbai, opposition parties today dubbed the move as a ploy to “promote Hindutva” and “saffronise” education.
BMC’s general body cleared the proposal tabled by BJP corporator Samita Kamble yesterday with an aim to improve overall health of students by incorporating the ancient exercise regime into their daily routine. The ruling allies rejected the amendment demanded by Congress and Samajwadi Party (SP) to make yoga optional for schools.
They also struck down SP’s demand for removal of ‘Surya Namaskar’ (sun salutation) from the proposal terming it as a “form of Hindu worship”.
“Making Surya Namaskar compulsory in schools is a way to promote Hindutva as the origin of Surya Namaskar lies in Hindu God Surya (Sun),” Samajwadi corporator Rais Sheikh alleged.
Sheikh said Muslim parents would stop sending their wards to school if BMC goes ahead with the proposal.
Former minister and state unit Congress vice-president Naseem Khan said the move is “unconstitutional” and will be opposed tooth and nail.
“This is another case of saffronisation of our education system and it is in complete contravention of fundamental rights prescribed in Constitution which allows every citizen to live and educate themselves as per their own religious thoughts,” he said.
Questioning the timing of the proposal, Khan said, “Since BMC elections are near and sensing their defeat, they (Sena and BJP) have now played this saffronisation card for political gains, which could have very unwarranted consequences. Why didn’t Sena and BJP combine, which has been ruling the BMC for last 20 years, bring the proposal earlier?”
A number of Muslim bodies and their representatives, including Mohammad Saeed Noori, the founder of Raza Academy and Noori Mehfil, met Khan separately and apprised him about the reaction in the community against the move.