Credit Adnan Abidi/Reuters
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Yoga Day initiative, featuring public yoga demonstration by 35,000 citizens, is aimed at improving health and mental habits of population. He quietly took his place before a sea of schoolchildren and others, mats neatly arranged in a checkerboard as far as the eye could see, to begin what was billed as the largest yoga demonstration in a single venue in history.
“I believe that from the 21st of June, through the International Day of Yoga, it is not just the beginning of a day but the beginning of a new age through which we will achieve greater heights of peace, good will and train the human spirit,” Mr. Modi said in his speech.
The government made no effort to play down its message of the healing power of yoga. In an event later Sunday, Mr. Modi mentioned diseases like diabetes and hypertension, and drug addiction in India, adding that “practicing yoga helps combat stress and chronic conditions.”
“Since ancient times India was the guru of the world,” said Vikash Chandra, a lawyer who has been practicing yoga since 1992. Yoga Day in Delhi, which was captured by more than 24 state-run TV cameras and broadcast all over the nation, would help them reclaim it, he said.
Source: The New York Times