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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Yoga Day was a success, but the initial approach by Government of India was wrong.

 Yoga is the best thing that has happened to humans. It is good for human body as it  increases the cohesive functioning of mind, body and the soul. What messes our body is what we consume; food, water and air, and its regulator in the form of exercise. 


Over the years the entire world has simultaneously discovered a fairly decent combination of foods and water to keep us in shape and healthy. However, we missed out on the third important element; air.   Thanks to the Indian Yogi’s for their tapasya and giving us the gift of Yoga.

The Indian Government has announced an International Yoga Day making it compulsory for everyone to observe. However, it should have been introduced as an option, giving complete freedom to choose, rather than making it compulsory.  When people are given choices, it will increase acceptability with least resistance; I mean any change for that matter, it goes thru the same process.

Cartoon by: Irfan Khan, one of the greatest Cartoonists in India www.cartoonsbyirfan.com 
Nowhere in the civilized world are people forced to do things against their will. Tobacco and Alcohol are injurious to health, yet the products are not banned. We give choices to the people; we put warnings on tobacco products and Alcohol, but don’t push people to stop consuming. The United States tried prohibition and failed,  Andhra Pradesh Government failed as well. If someone thinks Saudi Arabia has succeeded, they are wrong, there is more alcohol there than in free markets.

The best example of failure of imposition other than Alcohol is Hindi. When Hindi was imposed on south, the South resisted violently even today, many from TN, Karnataka, Kerala and some parts of Andhra resist learning Hindi and I am sure there is resistance in other corners as well.  It was simply because it was pushed on them. Did you see some of the BJP ministers took the “national” oath of office in Tamil and Telugu and not Hindi? Do you remember Jayalalithaa protesting to Modi to not tweet in Hindi? Does the Maratha pride allow them to abandon Marathi and accept Hindi?

Yoga is wrongfully perceived as a Hindu value.  The problem is two sided; in the US a few years ago, the Christian fundamentalists declared Yoga was a Hindu thing and Christians should not follow it. I had written some strongly worded notes about it.  The other side of the coin is the fundamentalist Hindus claim that Yoga is a Hindu value and westerners are usurping it, stealing it as their own. Both are wrong, good things are good things and for all people.  Because of the fundamentalist Hindus, Yoga is perceived as a Hindu thing. 

A few extremists look to it as a stepping stone for fulfilling their dream of pushing India to be a 100% Hindu Nation by 2025 and no wonder Muslims and Christians will resist it.  As free Indians we all should resist any bloody imposition on any one of the 1.25 Billion of us,  if  some of us  “rejoice” pushing it on unwilling citizens and trampling on their freedom,  believe me, their freedom will be on the chopping block next.  We rise and fall together as a nation.

What is the need for making Yoga compulsory? Can you make eating an apple a day compulsory? Walking a mile compulsory? What is the gain?

The mess up came from a few loose mouths who made a big deal that “India is second and Islam is first to Muslims” – looks like that is the statement they wanted to deliver. They are wrong.  The BJP-RSS considers it a victory to force Muslims to obey, they get a sadistic joy out of it, and that is one of the reasons for resistance.  Yogi Adityanath says, those who are opposed to should jump in to the sea, he is no ordinary man; he is the MP and a Mahant with substantial following like the Baghdadi Guy.

India’s famous opportunist François Gautier writes, "By opposing yoga in schools they (Muslims) are showing that they are Muslims first and Indians second."  And now consider this response from the Right wing Christians," By opposing Christian prayers in schools they (Hindus) are showing that they are Hindus first and Americans second." Both the statements are equally dumb and stupid.

Christian Prayer should not be equated with America, nor should Yoga be equated with India.

Gautier knows what appeases the Hindu right and baits them with it, and "Apna ullu theek kar leta hai" makes his own good fooling them and receiving accolades. The problem is not him; it is the men that fall prey to his divisive rhetoric.  

My conscience prevents me from doing what he does, if not I can earn a lot of fame, influence and money - all I have to do is bad mouth Islam and Muslims, and they gloat uncontrollably and take care of him.  François Gautier is hell bent on placing wedges between Hindus and Muslims; we have seen the likes of him in Cornwallis and Wellesley who succeeded in the past, do we want men like him to continue to dupe the Indians?
Let them tear India down, we will put it back together. 

As Indian Americans, we should oppose any bloody imposition on anyone, using the language of a few radical members of the Parliament, a right winger American can easily say, if you guys have a problem with Christian prayers, go back to where you came from, this is a Christian Nation."

Thanks to the large majority of Americans, they will not let anyone say that non-sense and get away with it.

I don't know what Mihir Meghani (President of Hindu America Foundation) will say about this. He and I have opposed the placement of Ten Commandments in public places, particularly the High court in Texas.  Now would he oppose imposing Yoga on others in Indians?  

Shadi Katyal writes, "India which was once the only nation where any person could come and seek refuge and help and become part of the culture. USA did not even exist but now I feel sorry and afraid that India of the past has become xenophobic and closed minded one. The people are being bred to teach hate against the other minorities and I see dark cloud over the nation." 

Khalid Azam brings out a good question, “The five daily prayers prescribed by Islam are [also] known to provide a lot of health benefits. Does that mean it is acceptable that the five daily prayers be made mandatory on all Hindus or non-Muslims living in Muslim countries like Malaysia, Gulf etc? One of the ministers from the Hindu Right Wing group says that if Muslims have objections to Shlokas, they can say "Allah" instead. Would a Muslim minister state that Hindus can say "Eshwar" instead of Allah in the Namaz?  Is forced imposition of salaat/ Namaz any more acceptable? How many Hindus would accept a mandatory imposition of Islam's five daily prayers in Indian schools?

 I hope most of us have learned the value of liberty and believe in our immortal declaration, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed;"

As an Indian American who subscribes to the idea of individual freedom to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness, I stand opposed to imposing anything on any Indian. India has a major role to play in the world affairs; these petty things will drown us.

Being an Indian American, how many of you would oppose imposition of Christian prayers on Hindus, Jews or Muslims?  If they impose on Jews, would you stand up for them? Would you stand up for Muslims if they are pushed to do Yoga? No human should be pushed to do anything, do you agree? 

I hope Prime Minister Modi tells this man, "Mr. Gautier, don't' divide my nation, I am focusing on development and I need sab ka saath, don't ruin it for me, we are not going to put the white guys on the pedestal any more, we are not going to bow to the Gora people with "yes sir" any more, hum bhi kisi se kum nahin, we are Indians at heart and we will work together for every one's vikas. Don't ruin my future, lets' focus on development.”

I have received several questions and will answer them all and append here below.   

Thank you,

mike ghouse   
(214) 325-1916

Mike is a speaker, thinker, writer, pluralist,  TV-Radio commentator and a human rights activist committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. His info in 63 links at MikeGhouse.net and writings at TheGhouseDiary.com

Also published at: SaddaHaq.com - https://www.saddahaq.com/human-interest/fathersday/happy-fathers-day

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