Story: Times of India
JAIPUR: Amid protests from different corners, the education department issued orders on Tuesday for government and private schools to introduce surya namaskar in all secondary and senior secondary classes with immediate effect.
The order issued by office of director secondary education, Rajasthan says that which includes surya namaskar, meditation and paper reading. Effectively this order will be applicable for little over 48,000 schools including 28,000 government schools (secondary and above).
The order issued by the office is in line with that of Madhya Pradesh government which issued a similar directions a long time back. The order divides 20 minutes into three segments including first five minutes for prayers, national song, oath and group song. The next 10 minutes are for surya namaskar, yoga and meditation while the last five minutes for newspaper reading in both Hindi and English.
Suwalal, director of Secondary Education in Rajasthan, said, "The order is aimed at improving the educational environment along with strengthening mental and physical fitness." While MP had implemented surya namaskar only in government schools, Rajasthan has gone a step ahead by asking private schools as well to introduce it.
School students participate to Surya Namaskar in the Jaipur. (TOI photo by Arvind Sharma)
A source said that surya namaskar, prayers and meditation cannot be exercised without chanting of mantras. The order didn't go down well with schools run by Arya Samaj, Muslim community and Christian missionary schools. These groups are objecting the move stating that this order is 'divisive' to the secular credentials of our nation. TOI called up several private schools which chose to be silent on the order.
The move was hinted earlier by education minister Vasudev Devnani who told TOI that that they are working towards evoking a sense of nationalism, ancient Indian value system and culture in students while justifying his stand on introducing yoga and Indian value system in classrooms from the next session.
The minister had directed all the schools to hold Saraswati Puja to mark the occasion of Basant Panchmi this January 24. The state has over 1.20 lakh schools including 85,000 government and 35,000 private schools which are catering to 1.31 crore students in 2013-14 academic session.