Can’t impose yoga in schools: SC

New Delhi: A lawyer, who sought making the teaching of Yoga compulsory in schools, on Monday fumbled when the Supreme Court put him to test on his knowledge about the ancient exercise. “Which is the last ‘aasana’ in Yoga,” asked a bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur. As the lawyer fumbled, the bench said, “it is ‘shavasana’. You espouse the cause of Yoga when you do not know this.”
The bench asked him to withdraw his plea seeking framing of a ‘National Yoga Policy’ and making Yoga compulsory for students of Class I-VIII across the country and directed him to intervene as a party in a pending similar case. “You (lawyer) withdraw your petition here and file an intervention application in the pending case,” the bench, also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and L Nageswara Rao, said.
But senior advocate M N Krisnamani, representing lawyer and Delhi BJP spokesperson Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay who has filed the PIL, sought issuance of notice on the plea. Krishnamani said “the fact that I do not practice ‘Yoga’ should not come in the way of a right cause.”
The bench then referred to the prevailing situation in Delhi and adjoining areas and, in lighter vein, said “does any one do yoga in this polluted atmosphere”.
At the outset of the hearing, the bench expressed its unwillingness to entertain the PIL saying “we cannot impose Yoga on anyone. You go and persuade people to do it. We cannot be framing curriculum.” It is for the government and academicians to decide what should be included in the school curricula, the bench said.
At the end of the brief hearing, it however allowed Upadhyay to seek intervention in a similar plea pending before a bench headed by Justice M B Lokur, which would hear it on November 29.
Upadhyay, in his plea, had sought a direction to the Ministry of Human Resources Development, NCERT, NCTE and the CBSE to “provide standard textbooks of ‘Yoga and Health Education’ for students of Class I-VIII keeping in spirit various fundamental rights such as right to life, education and equality. (PTI)

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