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    OpinionsYoga: An invaluable gift to humankind

    Yoga: An invaluable gift to humankind


    In the words of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it is yoga that has the potential to foster physical strength and mental expansion needed to create a developed India by 2047.

    Zia Darakshan **

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after retaining the power as prime minister of India for third consecutive term has hit global headlines for leading the International Day of Yoga 2024 at a major yoga event being organised at Sher-e- International Convention Centre (SKICC) in Srinagar on June 21. The number of participants is going beyond 50000 as 20 districts of and Kashmir are being virtually connected where over a gathering of at least 2000 participants from each district is expected to join the Yoga session with the prime minister. The theme for 2024 is “Yoga for self and society” and is 10th in the series after launched as a global event nine years back.”

    Last year, the Prime Minister Modi led the International Yoga Day celebrations at the UN Headquarters in New York on June 21, Diplomats, academicians, entrepreneurs, leaders, artists, key cultural figures and others from different walks of life from 180 countries had joined the celebrations. Remarkably, Modi after being elected as the Prime Minister of India in 2014,  in his maiden address at the UN General Assembly described Yoga – the ancient Indian tradition – as an invaluable gift to humankind and called for adoption of an International Day of Yoga. And, the call got a spontaneous response from the .

    It's worth mentioning that proclamation of June 21 as the International Yoga Day that too in his first year in office is one of the landmark achievements of the Modi government.


    Yoga an and Science of healthy living

    Originating in India, Yoga is one of the oldest sciences known to mankind, dating back over 5,000 years and possibly even 10,000 years. Its roots can be traced to the ancient Indus-Sarasvati civilization in Northern India, as mentioned in the texts of the Rig Veda.

    The term ‘Yoga' is derived from the Sanskrit root ‘YUJ', meaning ‘to join' or ‘to yoke' or ‘to unite'. Yoga is a practice that holds immense wisdom. It teaches us to connect our individual consciousness with the Universal Consciousness, fostering a beautiful harmony between our mind, body, and the world around us. Its purpose is to help us realize our true selves and embark on a journey of self-discovery.


    Exclusive Modi initiative

    In contemporary time, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi played a significant role in promoting Yoga and popularizing it on the global stage. The United Nations General Assembly declared June 21st as the International Day of Yoga in 2014, and this recognition aimed to raise awareness about the benefits of Yoga and promote its practice worldwide. Besides, the Yoga Day celebrated worldwide will remain a constant reminder for all generations to come about the Modi-led government's overseas successes and overall measures to boost India's global image.

    Today, since 2014, each year, on June 21, the world comes together to celebrate International Yoga Day, to embrace and promote the practice of yoga and explore its potential to foster harmony, balance, and well-being in individuals and communities alike across the globe. Notably, the date also holds special significance as it coincides with the summer solstice, the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. The summer solstice symbolizes a transition from darkness to light, mirroring the transformative journey that yoga can facilitate in a person's life.

    Yoga in Jammu & Kashmir

    Since none other than the Prime Minister Narendra Modi is leading the 10th edition of the Yoga day in Srinagar, the celebration of the Day throughout the UT of Jammu and Kashmir would be exemplary as people from different background would be congregating to celebrate the occasion with enthusiasm and joy. However, considering the prolonged instability and sedentary lifestyles that have affected the region, it's important to move beyond an annual celebration. Kashmir, like many other places faces issues such as anxiety, depression, neurotic disorders, and other illness, making it necessary to incorporate Yoga into the daily curriculum, particularly in schools.

    To address these challenges proficiently, it's imperative to make Yoga a mandatory subject in schools. Integrating Yoga into the daily routine of children can have numerous benefits for their comprehensive wellbeing. Likewise, it should be introduced in colleges and universities, beyond celebrating it on Yoga Day.

    Furthermore, in areas where the drug menace is prevalent, free Yoga centers should be established to combat the menace. To encourage community involvement and the establishment of more Yoga centers, incentives can be provided to individuals interested in opening such centers. This approach would help create a sense of ownership and responsibility among the local population, contributing to the overall well-being of the community.

    By implementing these measures, Yoga can serve as a powerful tool in combating the drug menace, promoting physical and mental well-being, and fostering a healthier and more harmonious society in Kashmir.

    Promoting Yoga centres in Kashmir would be a thoughtful and valuable gift to people of Kashmir, empowering them to lead a healthier and more fulfilling lives amidst the challenges they face.

    Meanwhile, in the words of the Prime Minister Modi, Yoga as a mantra is a significant one for every Indian, in particular, in the ongoing Azadi Ka Amrit Kaal. PM Modi asserts, “Through Yoga, we know the selfless action, we decide the journey from Karma to Karmayoga.” It is yoga, according to him, that has the potential to foster physical strength and mental expansion needed to create a developed India by 2047.


    ** The author is a freelance writer





    The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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