“PM Modi led an estimated 50, 000 volunteers to mark the fourth anniversary of International Yoga Day. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu along with several Union Ministers also hosted similar events across the country. PM Modi said that Yoga acted as a force in unifying the world and also performed various asanas as part of the celebrations. The event in Dehradun was held at the Forest Research Institute, which has been spruced up and security across Dehradun tightened. PM Modi was welcomed at the Dehradun airport by Uttarakhand Governor Krishna Kant Paul, Chief Minister TS Rawat and other leaders and officials. Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Suresh Prabhu, Uma Bharti, Ram Vilas Paswan, Ravi Shankar Prasad also took part in yoga events in Lucknow, Nagpur, Chennai, Rudraprayag, Hajipur and Patna respectively. Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu was present in Mumbai at a yoga event organized by a non-profit run by BJP's Mumbai unit chief Ashish Shelar. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was also present on the occasion.” This is a slice of news from a prestigious Indian national channel on 21st June 2018.
Think of the cost of yoga day to the national exchequer in mobilizing such phenomenal way of organizing it all over the country involving VVIP’s like president, governors, chief ministers, ministers, top bureaucrats and national Institutions like Indian Forest Research Dehradun. Estimate the effect of this national mobilization. It is only an annual national level observance which has no health benefit to vast majority of people, because daily yoga practitioners are even much less than gym goers.
Secondly, the benefits of yoga do not happen to vast majority of the people in India because yoga without proper food nourishment, adequate housing and environmental sanitation is totally useless. Vast majority of the people who need PDS are not getting it. Why is PM Modi not bothered about the stark hunger situation of the people? Why is he not bothered about the people living in slums and ghettoes like rats in dirt and filth? Why is he not interested in cleaning up cities and towns, and especially the annual clean-up of the city drainages? Why is he not thinking of mobilizing people for a better road system, better cleanliness and food supply in the railways? The food given in the railways is highly unhealthy both in its nutrition and sanitation. Why is he not bothered about the cleanliness of rail tracks littered with human and animal faeces? Go to any government health centre, hospital or medical college, to see the utter disregard for the health of the public. There are any number of government hospitals and medical colleges in India where cows and monkeys roam inside along with patients; where rats and cockroaches have established themselves for ages. Where poverty, hunger and insanitation abounds, yoga cannot be effective; that much of common sense PM Modi should have. This yoga vagary is an exercise that reeks of arrogant autocratic authoritarianism serving his party interests and fattening the pockets of business and event managers belonging to his party.(Published on 25th June 2018, Volume XXX, Issue 26)