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Yogi Adityanath: Jump Into The Sea If You Object To Surya Namaskar

Yogi Adityanath: Jump Into The Sea If You Object To Surya Namaskar
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An Indian man performs 'Surya Namaskar' - Salute to the Sun - during the first sunrise of the year 2015 in the northern hill town of Shimla on January 1, 2015. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images)
STRDEL via Getty Images
An Indian man performs 'Surya Namaskar' - Salute to the Sun - during the first sunrise of the year 2015 in the northern hill town of Shimla on January 1, 2015. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images)

Ahead of celebrating its first International Yoga Day on June 21, India's centuries-old legacy of meditation-and-exercise is becoming a source of religious tensions in the country.

On Monday, Bharatiya Janata Party's controversial lawmaker Yogi Adityanath suggested that those who objected to the 'Surya-Namaskar,' a yoga exercise performed in reverence to the sun, live in a closed room or must jump into the sea.

(08/06/15) Iss sampurna brahmaand ke liye urjaa ke strotra hain Surya: Yogi Adityanath pic.twitter.com/rjqlGnAHDP

— ANI (@ANI_news) June 9, 2015

Jinko Surya mein bhi saampradaayikta nazar ati hai, mai unse vinamrata se kahunga ki wo samundra mein jakar doob jayein: Yogi Adityanath

— ANI (@ANI_news) June 9, 2015

While he did not refer to any specific religious community, the controversial lawmaker appeared to be reacting to objections raised by the All India Muslim Personal Law Board against the Modi-government's proposal of making the Surya-Namaskar mandatory in schools.

"Surya namaskar should not be made mandatory in government schools because Muslims bowed only before Allah," Kamaal Farooqui, a board member, said on Monday.

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This article exists as part of the online archive for HuffPost India, which closed in 2020. Some features are no longer enabled. If you have questions or concerns about this article, please contact indiasupport@huffpost.com.