Yoga-as-religion debate heats up in India - New York News

Yoga-as-religion debate heats up in India

Updated:

By: Herb Scribner, Deseret News

Does yoga have a religious element to it?

That's the question the Supreme Court of India is trying to solve, as it is looking at whether schools should teach the physical and mental practice, according to Religion News Service.

RNS reported that two petitioners are calling for all federally run or funded schools to offer yoga as a class subject for those between first and eighth grade. The petitioners said the 2005 National Curriculum Framework, which offers the structure for making syllabi, textbooks and teaching practices for India's schools, says yoga "is vital for health and physical education," RNS reported.

Jagdish Chander Seth, a lawyer who is one of the petitioners, told RNS that yoga helps build character and strength, which is important in today's materialistic society.

But the court might not support the petitioners, seeing as yoga might have a religious component to it, RNS reported.

"Can we be asking all the schools to have one period for yoga classes everyday when certain minority institutions may have reservations against it?” asked the court, according to The Indian Express.

Opponents of the move include some Muslims and Christians, who say yoga has religious ties that don't belong in education, RNS reported.

“Yoga, as it is currently practiced in India, is not merely a physical exercise. It has a strong component of faith to it,” said John Dayal, a Christian leader and member of the National Monitoring Committee for Minority Education, to RNS.

This isn't the first time yoga's religiosity has been called into question.

Recently, the Turkish Interior Ministry asked the country's Directorate of Religious Affairs whether or not Yoga is forbidden by Islam, according to Al-Monitor, which covers news from the Middle East. The DRA said “as long as yoga was practiced as a sport activity it was permissible, but if it has a ‘religious mission' it could be objectionable.”

Earlier this year, a California judge ruled “that while yoga can be religious, it is taught … as simply a way to promote strength, flexibility and balance,” according to a Deseret News story. Parents who considered practicing yoga to be an infringement on kids' religious freedom raised the case, Deseret News reported. The court asked the San Diego schools to rename the positions, though, according to RNS.

Yoga in education isn't the sole focus of India's concerns with the physical form of discipline. The Indian government is also worried about yoga's commercialization, which is a $5 billion industry in the United States, according to BBC. The BBC detailed the history of the practice, which has been in existence for about 2,500 years.


Original Post

Copyright 2013 Deseret Digital Media, Inc.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • SummerStage: you still have time to catch a show

    SummerStage: you still have time to catch a show

    Monday, July 28 2014 10:22 PM EDT2014-07-29 02:22:53 GMT
    You've got a few more weeks to enjoy SummerStage, New York's annual performing arts showcase that's 28 years running. But it's not just music: there is dance, comedy, theater, you name it. There are several shows weekly at 14 different parks throughout the five boroughs. A recent show at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park paid tribute to Pete Seeger. Most of the shows are free and are funded by tickets purchased for the some of the bigger acts.
    You've got a few more weeks to enjoy SummerStage, New York's annual performing arts showcase that's 28 years running. But it's not just music: there is dance, comedy, theater, you name it. There are several shows weekly at 14 different parks throughout the five boroughs. A recent show at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park paid tribute to Pete Seeger. Most of the shows are free and are funded by tickets purchased for the some of the bigger acts.
  • NY teacher tenure system faces new legal challenge

    NY teacher tenure system faces new legal challenge

    Monday, July 28 2014 10:14 PM EDT2014-07-29 02:14:16 GMT
    An educational advocacy group led by former CNN journalist Campbell Brown is challenging New York state's teacher tenure system, filing a lawsuit Monday that alleges that job protections unfairly shield bad teachers. Seven parents of public school children from New York City and Rochester are the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, filed in Supreme Court in Albany.
    An educational advocacy group led by former CNN journalist Campbell Brown is challenging New York state's teacher tenure system, filing a lawsuit Monday that alleges that job protections unfairly shield bad teachers. Seven parents of public school children from New York City and Rochester are the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, filed in Supreme Court in Albany.
  • 2 U.S. marshals, 1 NYPD detective wounded; fugitive killed in Manhattan

    2 U.S. marshals, 1 NYPD detective wounded; fugitive killed in Manhattan

    Monday, July 28 2014 10:10 PM EDT2014-07-29 02:10:52 GMT

    Two deputy U.S. marshals and an NYPD detective were seriously wounded in a shootout with a fugitive sexual assault suspect in the West Village in Manhattan, officials said. The shootout happened in smoke shop called Smoking Culture on West 4th Street near Jones Street.

    Two deputy U.S. marshals and an NYPD detective were seriously wounded in a shootout with a fugitive sexual assault suspect in the West Village in Manhattan, officials said. The shootout happened in smoke shop called Smoking Culture on West 4th Street near Jones Street.


Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices