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Bishops Withdraw Case Against Madhya Pradesh Government
New Delhi (ucanindia): The Catholic Church in Madhya Pradesh has withdrawn a court case against the state government over the issue of introducing yogic exercise Surya Namaskar (sun worship) in minority schools.
The decision of Catholic Bishops’ Council of Madhya Pradesh came after the government gave an undertaking before the state High Court that performing sun worship was voluntary for schools and students.
Besides the Catholic Church, the Muslim community in the state too opposed the introduction of the yogic exercise in their schools, saying that it was against the tenets of Islam.
The government came up with the idea of introducing the exercise in schools in 2007 to help students to remain physically and mentally fit.
It had at that time termed it as just an exercise session which had nothing to do with religions.
But both the minority communities opposed it, saying it was part of the government’s divisive policy and also to promote Hindu religion.
The yogic exercise, according to them, was nothing but worshiping sun God, a part of Hindu religion.
However, a Muslim group moved the Madhya Pradesh High Court in January 2007 demanding to quash the government’s program.
The HC made the program optional for students from minority communities and directed the government not to use any force to participate in it.
Earlier in January this year, the state government officials issued orders to the schools run by minority communities to join a mass sun worship program the government had organized to enter into Guinness Book of World Records.
The Catholic Bishops sued the government for violating the 2007 court and forcing Christian students to join the exercise held in schools across the state.
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