A J&K government order asking teachers and students from all colleges to perform Surya Namaskar on the occasion of Makar Sankranti has sparked controversy. This is the first time students in the Muslim-majority region have been asked to participate in Surya Namaskar, which many Muslims believe is unacceptable and against the basic tenets of their faith.
“On the occasion of the sacred occasion of Makar Sankranti on January 14, 2022, the Government of India has requested that a large-scale virtual Surya Namaskar be organized under Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations on the occasion,” reads an order from Director Colleges, J&K Higher Education Department .
The brief asks teachers and students to make it a people-centered program with the slogan “Surya Namaskar for Vitality”.
“Please ensure that all teachers and students actively participate in this program,” the order reads.
Former Prime Minister Mehbooba Mufti called the directive the government’s “pr misadventure” and a reflection of a “common mindset”.
GOI’s PR misadventures aim to humiliate and collectively humiliate Kashmiris. Forcing students and staff to perform Surya namaskars by issuing orders, despite their apparent discomfort with imposing something laden with religious connotations, provides insight into their common mindset,” she said in a tweet.
The Indian government’s PR misadventures are designed to humiliate and collectively humiliate Kashmiris. Forcing students and staff to perform suryanamaskars by issuing orders, despite their apparent discomfort with imposing something fraught with religious connotations, gives insight into their common mindset https://t.co/tgk9xidZz0
— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) January 13, 2022
“Why should Muslim students be forced to do anything, including yoga, to celebrate Makar Sankranti? Makar Sankranti is a festival and whether or not to celebrate it should be a personal choice. Would the BJP be happy if a similar order were issued for non-Muslim students to celebrate Eid?” former Prime Minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah wrote on Twitter.
Umesh Talashi, another youth leader of the National Conference, asked what the reaction will be if tomorrow a Muslim Chief Minister issues an order asking everyone to hold fast during Ramzan.
“If tomorrow a Muslim CM issues an executive order that everyone must quickly observe about Ramzan, how will that sound to non-Muslim community members? Babus must stop imposing religious practices on people, they have no right to engage in meddle in these matters,” he said.
If the Muslim CM issues an executive order tomorrow that everyone must act quickly on ramzan, how will that sound to non-Muslim community members? Babus, must stop imposing religious practices on people, they have no right to meddle in these matters. pic.twitter.com/KclY6oJrEo
— Umesh Talashi (@UTalashi) January 13, 2022
Another leader, Ruhullah Mehdi, said the Director Colleges order reflects the enslavement of officials who signed the order.
The oppression does not reflect as much in this order or “desire” as the slavery in the undersigned’s pen.
They said to bow, the so-called “leadership” of Kashmir crept. But what about society as a whole? What does the signature represent in this case? pic.twitter.com/bHgvfivffi
— Ruhullah Mehdi (@RuhullahMehdi) January 13, 2022
“The oppression does not reflect so much in this order or “desire” as slavery in the undersigned’s pen.
They said to bow, the so-called “leadership” of Kashmir crept. But what about society as a whole? What does the signature reflect in this case?” he tweeted.