Stop the Coercive Imposition of Yoga to Enforce Cultural Homogeneity – A Petition

Yoga petition

We write as concerned scholars, many of whom have long been indebted to yoga and pranayama for their therapeutic effects, about the many plans that are being made to declare June 21 as a successful start of International Yoga Day. While mindful of yoga as a most desirable option for health care, we are concerned by the central compulsion driving the directives issued by the present Government, namely  about entering the Guinness Book of Records through a show of numerical strength. We are even more alarmed about the government order addressed to university teachers and staff and school students to perform yoga on 21st June in public, and construe this as a compulsion that amounts to misuse of state authority.

It is most unfortunate that a national government is mobilizing so much effort, resources and people for a one-time spectacle, without any long term planning for or investment in the health and well being of the people. International Yoga Day, which is not backed by any plan of affordability or accessibility, appears ironically as an advertisement for a new breed of Yoga teachers and assorted Indian gurus who have already amassed colossal wealth by selling public goods like yoga and meditation at enormous prices. Like the largely symbolic Swachchh Bharat Abhiyan which refused to raise questions of water supplies, sewage disposal, and the continuance of demeaning scavenging practices, IYD is meant as a spectacle for media consumption.

More important, the BJP has made this event, and the compulsory practice of yoga in educational institutions, into another yardstick by which to judge the loyalty of people to the Indian nation and its cultural traditions. International yoga day has little to do with the improved health and well being of the people. It has everything to do with the great visibility it gives to another attempt to enforce cultural homogeneity. Any knowledgeable practitioner of yoga would say that it cannot be mandated or made compulsory, and must not turn into an acrobatic display. We therefore strongly object to the goals of the international yoga day, to the manner in which it has been organized and imposed upon Government employees, to the cultural nationalism that is being invoked around the event, and to the overt support it gives to all those who sell yoga.

The petition is up on Those wishing to sign it can do so here:

4 thoughts on “Stop the Coercive Imposition of Yoga to Enforce Cultural Homogeneity – A Petition”

  1. It is one thing to make popular something that is good for people, but it is quite another to shove it down their throats and to make it mandatory for those who are under your control or in your employ. So far as the Guinness Book of World Records is concerned, Shri N.D. Modi may well have qualified already for a place in half a dozen categories, all to do with the spending of money.

  2. Ascetics and devotees who introduced yoga in ancient India performed meditative postures ( asanas) , even by tormenting the body by standing on one leg, just to appease their gods.They were not interested in health, long life or sex.They preferred early death through torturous asanas to attain nirvana (salvation). But now yoga is showcased as a way to get health, sexual energy and longevity.In America, physical exercise practiced in a gym is being used in yoga by giving different Sanskrit names for the invented postures, calling them ‘asanas.’Advertisement for such yogas show fake assurance of ‘sex power. long life and mental happiness. Yoga was introduced by ascetics in ancient India not to get sex energy or health. It was for spiritual purity by worshiping god in different types of meditative postures (asanas). But today sex is highlighted. And for sex power,Kundalini is being used to trap the gullible. They use weird terms such as ‘chakra,’ ‘snake arousal.’ . There is no chakra (wheel) and no snake to be aroused. It is claimed that by performing kundalini yoga the wheel from the bottom of the spinal cord will swirl and the snake will be aroused to get sexual pleasure. Sexual erection and arousal are being used to fool the trainees. Yoga gurus cheat people by saying kandalini yoga will rouse the snake in you to get sexual pleasure. There is no be aroused in the body. Human anatomy does not show chakra (wheel) in spinal cord. It’s all fraud and the gullible are being exploited by saying kundalini yoga has aroused the snake (erection is termed as arousal).It is common knowledge that without kundalini yoga people experience arousal. But to make money sex power is shown to attract clients in the West.What a great difference from the purpose of yoga as introduced by the ascetics and the fraudulent methods now used by modern yogis.

  3. Through the ruse of such shallow & desultory campaigns the Modi Government seems it will continuously befool others ; sometimes later they will react when faced with problems. No doubt , the government has done one good thing – improve our frigid relations with most of our neighbours . Beyond that , there is nothing significantly good achieved as compared to many regressive measures.

  4. I fully agree and support for the cause. People should not look at the political angle

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