Surya Namaskar is a form of exercise and there was nothing wrong if such an activity was made mandatory for students
What is the harm if the BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) makes sun salutation or Surya Namaskar – compulsory for students of civic schools in Mumbai, the Bombay HC wants to know.
Division bench of Chief Justices Manjula Chellur and MS Sonak raised up the query after advocate Anjali Awasthi mentioned a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by her on behalf of Masood Ansari,a Kurla resident challenging the resolution passed by the BMC on August 26, making surya namaskar compulsory for all civic students.
The bench felt that surya namaskar was a form of exercise & there is nothing wrong at all if such an exercise is made mandatory for the students of civic schools.
The judges said that there are different kinds of yogasanas & it’ll be necessary to find out which kind is selected by the civic body & if it’ll be appropriate for children.
In responce to the court query, Awasthi said that surya namaskar involves 12 different asanas which are supposed to be done on an empty stomach, & it cannot be expected that students up to 14 years of age go to school without eating anything.
She also said that the BMC resolution also makes it mandatory for all the students to chant some mantras & since there are students from various religions, so for certain students it may not be religiously appropriate .
The PIL will be heard in the last week of this month.
The PIL adds that it can be said that surya namaskar can be performed without any supervision and guidance of a well-trained yoga teacher so, performance of the surya namaskar asana during the morning school prayers is not possible practically.