Yoga Day: Fasting Muslims to take part in PM Modi's UP event
Narendra Modi shares a moment with yoga guru Baba Ramdev (L) during a Yoga Mahotsav or festival, in New Delhi March 23, 2014. Photograph: (Reuters)
At this year's International Yoga Day celebrations here, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will have for company scores of roza-observing Muslims who will be performing various asanas.
At least 300 Muslim men and women under the banner of the Muslim Rashtriya Manch will be among the 55,000-strong participants at the Ramabai Ambedkar Maidan.
"More than 1,000 Muslims had contacted us about participating in the International Yoga Day celebrations, but at least 300 have confirmed their participation. Most of the participants will be observing roza, while performing yoga.
"In fact most of them are likely to arrive to the programme venue after Sehri (pre-dawn meal)," Mahiraj Dhwaj Singh, national co-convenor (organisation) of Muslim Rashtriya Manch for UP and Uttarakhand, told PTI.
Azam Khan, the national president of Shriram Mandir Nirman Muslim Karsevak Manch, will also be performing yoga while fasting.
"I will be participating in the third International Yoga Day celebrations and performing various yoga asanas (postures)," he said.
Singh said a request seeking a separate area for the Muslims participants will be made to the organisers.
Mohsin Raza, minister of state for Muslim Waqf and Haj, when contacted, said, "I will also participate and perform yoga while observing roza. Both yoga and roza are good for one's health."
Raees Khan, the UP and Uttarakhand in-charge of Muslim Rashtriya Manch, informed that the manch is trying to ensure attendance of at least 1,000 Muslim yoga enthusiasts at Modi's programme.
"So far 300 have already confirmed their participation. Most of the participants will be rozadars. Since 15 days, the participants have been practicing different aasans and postures," he said.
Member of UP unit of BJP Iqbal Haidar, who also heads a brotherhood committee of Muslims and had pledged to build Ram temple in Ayodhya, said, "I will be fasting, but at the same time participate in the Yoga Day celebrations. Yoga and roza are two different entities, and there should be no confusion in this regard. There should also be no difficulty or restriction on the participation of a rozedar in yoga programmes."
For convenience of ordinary citizens, LED screens will be installed at different parks in Lucknow, so that visitors could also participate simultaneously. Directions have already been issued to hold a 28-day workshop for the participants prior to the International Yoga Day.
The main programme would be the mass yoga demonstration from 7.00 am to 8.00 am, which will adhere to Common Yoga Protocol. Other events would include yoga fests, seminars, workshops, musical and cultural programmes.