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Last Updated: May 15, 2007 - 2:05:15 AM
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Court asks Madhya Pradesh to make surya namaskar voluntary
Jan 25, 2007 - 1:06:20 AM
Advocate General Rabinandan Singh told the court that the government had already made it clear that the programme would be voluntary.

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[RxPG] Bhopal, Jan 24 - The Jabalpur bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court Wednesday asked the state government to make the participation in the controversial 'surya namaskar' programme, organised by it Thursday for all school and college students, voluntary.

No one, individual or institution, be forced to participate in the programme, said a division bench comprising Chief Justice A.K. Patnayak and Justice R.S. Jha.

The bench also asked the state government to reply in four weeks on the charge of the petitioners that the programme was aimed at promoting saffron ideology and would hurt religious sentiments of the minorities.

The Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind and Bharatiya Muslim Sangh in the petition filed before Tuesday have also contended that recital of certain 'mantras' during the programme too were against the spirit of the constitution.

Advocate General Rabinandan Singh told the court that the government had already made it clear that the programme would be voluntary.

The Bharatiya Janata Party - government's move to hold 'surya namaskar' - a yoga initiation exercise that is a salutation to the sun as the source of all energy - in schools and colleges Thursday morning has been opposed by Muslim and Christian leaders who say that it was against their religions and thus unconstitutional.

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