Aizawl, June 21: Even as the whole nation was celebrating International Yoga Day on Thursday, the northeastern state of Mizoram has skipped the event as no official functions were held to mark the occasion.In last year, Mizoram celebrated the 3rd International Yoga day with the then Mizoram Governor Lt Gen (Rtd) Nirbhay Sharma leading the celebration at the Assam Rifles ground which coincided with the launch of ‘Healthy Mizoram Campaign’ organized by Assam Riffles.
“The government did not arrange any official function to mark the International Yoga day. Although there is no particular order against observing it, the state government does not encourage it either,” an official in the Chief Minister Office (CMO) said.
He said that Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla was busy with his grandson’s marriage and other cabinet ministers were also preoccupied with their works.
He, however, refused to mention why the government was not celebrating the International Yoga Day.
Though yoga events were held by Assam Rifles and BSF, no ministers and other government officials were learnt attending such events.
Yoga practice has been a controversial subject in Mizoram, with churches as well as other NGOs including the largest civil body Young Mizo Association (YMA) opposing it since the beginning on the ground that it is a part of Hindu philosophy and that it is inimical to Christian belief.
They are of the opinion that yoga practice was somewhat “anti-Christian” and doing it so can dilute Christian belief.
Several political parties including Mizo National Front (MNF) had also opposed introduction of yoga in schools and in police department. In last year, the YMA had cautioned the people of Mizoram on the issue of practising yoga in the name of exercise.
People’s Representation for Identity and Status of Mizoram (PRISM) in a statement on Thursday said that it strongly opposed yoga as there is no any necessity to be practiced in a state like Mizoram.
PRISM, a newly floated party, which was earlier anti-corruption watchdog, said that no institutions and individual should be forced to practice yoga.
“We would continue to oppose if there are any forces asking to embrace yoga and we would discontinue introduction of yoga among policemen if we come to power in the next assembly election,” the statement issued by PRISM general secretary Eddy Zosangliana Colney said.
Meanwhile, the International Yoga Day was celebrated by Assam Rifles along with yoga enthusiasts and students at Assam Rifles ground here which marked the closing of Healthy Mizoram Campaign launched on 21 June last year.
ICFAI University vice chancellor Lt.Gen AK Mishra (Rtd.), who graced the event as chief guest lauded Assam Rifles towards promoting healthy lifestyle especially in remote border areas of the state which are devoid of basic medical facilities.
The World Yoga Day was also observed by BSF at its headquarters in Zotlang, Lunglei and by project Pushpak at Pushpak primary school in Aizawl.