Preparations for hosting the International Day of Yoga, a pet project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, are already underway although there is still a week to go for declaration of the Lok Sabha election results.
Senior government officials went into a huddle at the cabinet secretariat on Thursday to discuss and plan how to celebrate June 21 as Yoga Day, which was instituted in 2015 to popularise the ancient physical and spiritual discipline that has its roots in India.
Secretaries of at least 10 ministries were present at a long meeting chaired by cabinet secretary Pradip Kumar Sinha to chalk out details of the event.
“We assume that whichever government takes charge will be taking Yoga Day forward as this has now become an internationally celebrated event,” a secretary-level officer in a social sector ministry said on condition of anonymity.
After Modi took charge as Prime Minister in 2014, he started Yoga Day celebrations and the United Nations recognized June 21 as the International Day of Yoga. Last year, the Prime Minister led at least 50,000 yoga enthusiasts on the Forest Research Institute
campus in Uttarakhand capital Dehradun in celebrating Yoga Day.
The results of the Lok Sabha elections, which conclude on May 19, will be declared on May 23. Government officials may not be waiting for the declaration of results to start preparing for Yoga Day but doubts remain whether the event would be celebrated with the same fanfare if a non-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government were to come to power. The Congress has in the past described Yoga Day celebrations as another event for Modi to seek publicity.
At least two secretaries present at Thursday’s meeting said that plans had been laid
out to ensure that Yoga Day
is observed even at gram panchayat levels across the
The government also wants to ensure participation of all schools, colleges, government offices and other organisations at the event.