Spread of yoga spans continents, cuts across differences of colour, caste and creed: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi releasing a commemorative stamp, to mark the occasion of the first International Day of Yoga

New Delhi, June 21: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that yoga helps individuals and societies to discover a sense of oneness and added that the reach and spread of the discipline cuts across the differences of colour, caste and creed.

Addressing the International Conference on Yoga for Holistic Health here on on Sunday, the Prime Minister said: “I am grateful to the international community, for the support [for International Yoga Day]. I acknowledge with all humility that this support is not just for India, this support is for the great tradition of yoga, the tradition that helps individuals and societies to discover a sense of oneness with self, each other and nature.”

“The reach and spread of yoga spans continents, cuts across differences of colour, caste and creed. I am told that there are communities of yoga practitioners in almost every country in the world,” Modi said.

Expressing delight at the response shown by countries across the world for International Yoga Day, he said the event had brought the hearts and minds of the people together.

The Prime Minister said: “When I spoke at the United Nations General Assembly on September 27, 2014, urging the world community to adopt an international day of yoga, little did I know of the kind of unprecedented response our proposal would receive….On December 11, 2014, the 193 member United Nations General Assembly approved the proposal by consensus with record 177 co-sponsoring countries.”

He further said: “As I stand here, the International Yoga Day is being celebrated across the world…From sunrise in the far east to the sunset in the furthest corner of the western hemisphere, people will join in this great celebration of yoga today….This solidarity in yoga, this coming together with our brothers and sisters in other countries brings our hearts and minds closer.”

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Modi, who inaugurated the International Yoga Day celebrations in Delhi, dubbed the event as the beginning of a new era of peace and goodwill, thanking all those who have contributed to the development of the great discipline.

Dressed in all-white and a tricolour scarf, the Prime Minister performed a variety of poses, including the Vajrasan and Padmasan, at the Rajpath where an estimated 40,000 people participated in the celebrations.

Nearly 2,000 digital cinema screens were set up across Rajpath for the people to witness the live streaming of the performance of yoga asanas.

Meanwhile, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh said that this ‘tamasha’ of community yoga is utter waste of public money.

He tweeted: “I wish International Yoga Day to all. But this Tamasha of Community Yoga is utter waste of public money and is only image building for Modi.”

Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma urged the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre to organise a befitting commemoration of the International Day of Non-Violence on October 2.

He said: “On June 15, 2007, the United Nations, in a specially convened session of the UN General Assembly, had declared October 2 as the international day of non-violence. I hope that the Prime Minister would respect that, remember that and on October 2 he and his government will organise a befitting commemoration of the international day of non-violence in India and all over the world.”

Anand Sharma further hoped that commemoration of the International Yoga Day continues throughout the year so that it does not end up being a mere annual event.

(With Agency Inputs)

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