Jammu & Kashmir

Forcing people to perform Surya Namaskar unacceptable, say Kashmiri religious bodies

Students of Binani public school perform Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation). [Photo: Wikimedia]

Advisor Farooq Khan says ‘order not binding on all’

Srinagar: Muttahida Majlis-e-Ulema (MMU), the amalgam of religious organizations in JK, on Friday said that it has taken strong exception to the administration’s order asking students, faculty members, and staff of all colleges in JK to compulsorily participate in the Hindu religious practice of ‘Surya Namaskar ‘ on a religious festival being observed today.

In a statement, MMU said, “Authorities are well aware that JK is a Muslim majority state, and Muslims will not- like people of other religions, won’t participate in religious practices of other religions. To deliberately force them to do so by issuing directives is mischievous.”

MMU said that the rulers should be clear that this is completely unacceptable to the Muslims of the state who will never yield to such highhandedness. It said that Muslims of JK are respectful of all religions and believe in harmonious coexistence but will never yield to any pressure, if and when there is any interference in matters related to their faith.

It is quite sad and tells about the sorry state of affairs pervading India, that while the religious practice of one religion gets promoted and imposed in the name of peace, that of the other gets banned and barred in the name of threat, the MMU said while referring to repeated lockdown by authorities of the central Jamia Masjid Srinagar where obligatory Friday prayers are not being allowed for months now.

And the disruptions caused to Friday prayers in Gurgaon by goons having a free run. The recent open call to the genocide of Muslims of India by a religious conference in Haridwar and the silence of the state in this regard is a shocking case of bigotry and discrimination against Muslims which has become the order of the day in today’s India, the statement said.

MMU said that Muslims of JK at no cost are not going to give in to the diktats of the government -despite all power that the state may command when it comes to matters of their religious faith. It asked the government to desist in the future from issuing such orders.

The organisations which are part of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Ulema include Anjuman Auqaf Jama Masjid, Darul Uloom Raheemiyah , Jamaith Ahli Hadees , Mufti Azam’s Muslim Personal Law Board Anjuman-e-Shari’a Shiaan, Karwani Islami, Ittihadul Muslimeen, Darul Uloom Bilalia, Anjuman Tableegul Islam, Anjuman Himayaul Islam, Anjuman Nusratul Islam, Anjuman Mazharul Haq, Jamiat ul Aima Wa Ulema, Anjuman Imam Wa Mashaikh Kashmir, Darul Uloom Naqshbandia, Darul Uloom Rasheediya, Ahlul Bayt Foundation, Madrasa Kanz Ul Uloom, Pervaan-e-Wilayat, Auqaf Islamia, Muhammadi Trust, Anjuman Anwar ul Islam, Kaarvaan e Khatm e Naboowat and others.

Earlier in the day, Advisor to Lieutenant Governor Jammu and Kashmir, Farooq Khan, said that the order issued with regard to performing yoga and Surya Namaskar to celebrate Makar Sankranti is not binding on all.

Khan reacted after the administration came under sharp criticism for issuing circular asking students and faculty members to perform yoga and Surya Namaskar to celebrate Makar Sankranti on 14 January.

“Whosoever wants to do it, can do, the order is not binding on all. Please don’t give it a religious colour,” Khan said.

Pertinently, Director Colleges, Higher Education Department, Dr Yasmeen Ashai had on Thursday issued circular directing students and faculty members to organize ‘Virtual Surya Namskar Program’ on 14 January (Makar Sankranti) under ‘Azadi Ka Amiri Mahotsav’.


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