Rajasthan Claims World Record with 75 Lakh Students Performing Surya Namaskar

Dilawar faced criticism from Muslim groups following the circulation of a video showing him participating in 'Surya Namaskar' sessions with children in Jaipur. The video quickly went viral on the internet, sparking debate and drawing attention to the perceived religious implications of the practice.
Education Minister Minister Dilawar himself performed  the event held in Jaipur and lauded the successful execution of the exercise.
Education Minister Minister Dilawar himself performed the event held in Jaipur and lauded the successful execution of the exercise.

Jaipur- In a historic feat, lakhs of students from government and private schools across Rajasthan came together to set a new world record by performing Surya Namaskar on February 15th.

This mass participation event, organized on the occasion of Surya Saptami, garnered praise from State Education Minister Madan Dilawar, who expressed gratitude to the students, parents, teachers, and department officials for their contribution to this achievement. Minister Dilawar himself graced the event held in Jaipur and lauded the successful execution of the exercise. Dilawar said around 75 lakh students had participated in the event, thereby creating a new record.

The minister however, faced criticism from Muslim groups following the circulation of a video showing him participating in 'Surya Namaskar' sessions with children in Jaipur. The video quickly went viral on the internet, sparking debate and drawing attention to the perceived religious implications of the practice.

On January 23rd, the State Secondary Education Board had issued a directive to all government schools, instructing them to organize 'Surya Namaskar' sessions on the occasion of Surya Saptami.

The order further stipulated that these Surya Namaskar sessions should become a regular practice for all students during the school assembly.

The rationale provided by the board was that sunlight, which is abundant during the practice of Surya Namaskar, serves as the best natural source of Vitamin D, thereby promoting the health and well-being of the students.

Impressed by the enthusiasm displayed by the students during the Surya Namaskar session, Minister Dilawar announced that Surya Namaskar would now become a daily practice in government schools across the state, to be performed after prayers.

Emphasizing the importance of Surya Namaskar for maintaining good health, Minister Dilawar addressed concerns raised by some groups opposing the practice, stating that he hoped the Sun God would enlighten those who dissent. He emphasized that Surya Namaskar should not be associated with any particular religion, highlighting its significance in promoting physical well-being, which in turn aids in academic performance.

Furthermore, Minister Dilawar revealed that teachers have undergone training to ensure the correct execution of Surya Namaskar among students.

He also noted that many students already practice Surya Namaskar at home as part of their yoga routine. However, the event faced opposition from certain Muslim organizations in the state, who called for a boycott of the program. Despite this, the successful execution of the mass Surya Namaskar event marks a significant milestone in promoting health and wellness among students in Rajasthan.

Interfaith Concerns and Religious Sensitivities

A spokesperson for one of the Muslim groups emphasized that while the Sun and religious sculptures hold sacred significance in Hinduism, it's crucial to recognize that children from various religious backgrounds attend the same school. In Islam, the belief in one God is fundamental, and any form of worship directed toward entities other than Him is deemed sinful and incompatible with Islamic teachings. Therefore, the promotion of practices such as 'Surya Namaskar' in educational institutions can be seen as conflicting with the religious beliefs of Muslim students.

In this context, following the directives of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind President Maulana Mahmood Madani, the State Executive of Jamiat Ulema Rajasthan convened a meeting. The meeting concluded with a resolution condemning the government’s mandate for collective Surya Namaskar participation in all schools by students, parents, and others. This action was deemed as blatant interference in religious affairs. Additionally, they appealed to the Muslim community to refrain from sending students to school on February 15 and to boycott the event.

It is note worthy that the Rajasthan High Court's on Wednesday rejected a petition filed by the Rajasthan Muslim Forum. This petition challenged the state government's directive that made 'Surya Namaskar' mandatory during school assemblies.

The court's dismissal of the petition has intensified the debate surrounding religious practices in educational institutions. The ruling sparked concerns among Muslim groups, who argue that the compulsory inclusion of 'Surya Namaskar' contradicts their religious beliefs. This development has reignited discussions about the intersection of religion and education, prompting further scrutiny of government policies regarding religious practices in schools.

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