Tuesday January 22, 2019

India to lead global community on International Yoga Day

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CompleteYoga

New Delhi: On International Yoga Day, around 35,000 to 40,000 people will lead the celebrations from Rajpath and will help the health enthusiasts from 193 countries to perform various asanas (yogic postures).

Ishvar V. Basavaraddi, director, Morarji Institute of Yoga Sciences, said that people from 193 countries would take part in the celebrations.

“Our institute has prepared thousands of CDs and booklets in different languages to help people perform proper asanas worldwide,” Basavaraddi told IANS, adding that the CDs and booklets have already been sent to all 193 countries.

“The pictures in the CDs and the booklets would be of various Yoga gurus, including that of Baba Ramdev, performing asanas”, he said.

“This would certainly help people understand the importance of Yoga in life,” Basavaraddi said.

He said the event may create yoga awareness among more people and they might start doing the ancient Indian exercises that keep mind and body healthy and peaceful.

The CDs will be played on Rajpath on big screens so that participants can perform while watching them.

“The half-hour programme will begin at 7 a.m.,” Basavaraddi said, adding that the event will find a place in the Guinness World Records.

The United Nations (UN) declared June 21 as the International Yoga Day on India’s request last year.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will lead the celebrations, also called for making yoga as a mass movement, connecting people and strengthening the bonds of humanity.

“The entire global community has come together in support of celebrating the first-ever International Day of Yoga on June 21. Now, that strong support has also turned into immense enthusiasm. I am seeing several people and organisations across the world are working towards making it a memorable event,” Modi said in a statement.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has been looking after the arrangements.

“With an aim of ‘Yoga for Health and Peace’, about 45,000 people will participate in the programme on Rajpath and security arrangements are being made in such a way that everything passes off peacefully”, MHA official K S Dhatwalia told IANS.

“Security would be as tight as it is during the Republic Day parade (on January 26),” he said.

Mukesh Kumar Meena, Joint Commissioner, Delhi Police,said that the security would be quite tight as participants would include dignitaries like the Prime Minister.

“The whole area would be sanitised and proper access control system would be put in place. Delhi Police special commandos would also be deployed at various points in the entire venue,” Meena told IANS.

The participants would include government officials from different departments and prominent citizens. (IANS)

Next Story

Claiming Bias, U.S.A. And Israel Pull Out Of UNESCO

The U.S. could potentially seek that status during UNESCO Executive Board meetings in April.

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UNESCO, U.S.
The logo of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) is seen druing a conference at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France, Nov. 4, 2017. VOA

The United States and Israel officially quit of the U.N.’s educational, scientific and cultural agency at the stroke of midnight, the culmination of a process triggered more than a year ago amid concerns that the organization fosters anti-Israel bias.

The withdrawal is mainly procedural yet serves a new blow to UNESCO, co-founded by the U.S. after World War II to foster peace.

The Trump administration filed its notice to withdraw in October 2017 and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu followed suit.

The Paris-based organization has been denounced by its critics as a crucible for anti-Israel bias: blasted for criticizing Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem, naming ancient Jewish sites as Palestinian heritage sites and granting full membership to Palestine in 2011.

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UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation. Image Source: www.mid-day.com

The U.S. has demanded “fundamental reform” in the agency that is best known for its World Heritage program to protect cultural sites and traditions. UNESCO also works to improve education for girls, promote understanding of the Holocaust’s horrors, and to defend media freedom.

The withdrawals will not greatly impact UNESCO financially, since it has been dealing with a funding slash ever since 2011 when both Israel and the U.S. stopped paying dues after Palestine was voted in as a member state. Since then officials estimate that the U.S. — which accounted for around 22 percent of the total budget — has accrued $600 million in unpaid dues, which was one of the reasons for President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw. Israel owes an estimated $10 million.

UNESCO Director General Audrey Azoulay took up her post just after Trump announced the pullout. Azoulay, who has Jewish and Moroccan heritage, has presided over the launch of a Holocaust education website and the U.N.’s first educational guidelines on fighting anti-Semitism — initiatives that might be seen as responding to U.S. and Israeli concerns.

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Migrants wait in line for food at a camp housing hundreds of people who arrived at the U.S. border from Central America with the intention of applying for asylum in the U.S., in Tijuana, Mexico, Dec. 12, 2018. VOA

Officials say that many of the reasons the U.S. cited for withdrawal do not apply anymore, noting that since then, all 12 texts on the Middle East passed at UNESCO have been consensual among Israel and Arab member states.

In April of this year, Israel’s ambassador to UNESCO said the mood was “like a wedding” after member nations signed off on a rare compromise resolution on “Occupied Palestine,” and UNESCO diplomats hailed a possible breakthrough on longstanding Israeli-Arab tensions.

The document was still quite critical of Israel, however, and the efforts weren’t enough to encourage the U.S. and Israel to reconsider their decision to quit.

In recent years, Israel has been infuriated by repeated resolutions that ignore and diminish its historical connection to the Holy Land and that have named ancient Jewish sites as Palestinian heritage sites.

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Israel Flag, Pixabay

The State Department couldn’t comment because of the U.S. government shutdown. Earlier, the department told UNESCO officials the U.S. intends to stay engaged at UNESCO as a non-member “observer state” on “non-politicized” issues, including the protection of World Heritage sites, advocating for press freedoms and promoting scientific collaboration and education.

Also Read: Israel Unanimously Approves Medical Marijuana Exports

The U.S. could potentially seek that status during UNESCO Executive Board meetings in April.

The United States has pulled out of UNESCO before. The Reagan administration did so in 1984 because it viewed the agency as mismanaged, corrupt and used to advance Soviet interests. The U.S. rejoined in 2003. (VOA)