Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], January 14 (ANI): PAGD member and vice president of ANC Muzaffar Shah on Friday said that the government's notification on students doing yoga for Makar Sankranti is 'unconstitutional'.
"The order should be revoked immediately. Religious freedom is guaranteed by the constitution of this country. Orders like this create a dangerous situation. BJP should desist from such practice," said Muzaffar Shah on Friday.
According to him, people in Kashmir respect each others religion and there should be no interference like Surya Namashkar in religious practice. "I would like to ask the senior government officials and the Lieutenant Governor, 'Will you offer Namaz?' No, but you respect the Muslim religion. In the same way, we respect Hindu religion but we will not do Surya Namaskar", stated the PAGD leader.
Omar Abdullah took to Twitter on Friday and wrote, "Why should Muslim students be forced to do anything, including yoga, to celebrate Makar Sankranti? Makar Sankranti is a festival and to celebrate it or not must be a personal choice. Would the BJP be happy if a similar order was issued to order non-Muslim students to celebrate Eid?"The Central government issued an order by the higher education department where it said, "To mark the holy occasion of 'Makar Sankranthi' on January 14, the Government of India (GoI) has desired a large scale virtual 'Surya Namaskar' under the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav Celebrations...........Kindly ensure that all faculty members and students actively participate in this programme."Speaking on the issue, GM Shaheen the President of Jammu and Kashmir JDU said, "It's undemocratic and against Muslim community. This will hurt Muslim sentiments. You can't force anyone to do Surya Namaskar."Reacting to the order, Imran Nabi Dar, the spokesperson of the National Conference (NC) tweeted, "The fact that heads of colleges in Kashmir have been directed to 'ensure' participation of faculty, students and the fact that these heads are now forced to force Muslims to perform 'Surya Namaskar' is a proof of religious interference. Roll the order back."While speaking to ANI, Dar said, "We have a problem with the word 'ensure' written in the order. If you force Muslims to do something that goes against their religion then it will be unacceptable." He further added that religion is a person's personal choice. "Kashmir, being a Muslim majority area, the government should have been considerate while giving out official orders", he added.
According to Imran Nabi Dar, official orders that go against Kashmiris are given out often in the last two years. "Through orders like this, the Central government is trying to humiliate Kashmiris. They are made to go through mental torture", added the NC spokesperson. (ANI)