Modi leads yoga day celebration in held Kashmir

By AFP
June 22, 2024
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi takes part in a yoga session during International Yoga Day in Srinagar on June 21, 2024 — Reuters

HELD SRINAGAR: Stretching, arching his back and kneeling on a mat, India´s Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi led hundreds of people performing yoga in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) on Friday.

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The exercises in held Srinagar, marked the 10th international yoga day, Modi´s own brainchild.

Thousands of government employees, schoolteachers and students from all over held Kashmir were brought in for the event, although rain forced Modi´s performance indoors.

Afterwards, he urged hundreds of people including many police and armed forces personnel on the shores of Dal Lake to make yoga “a part of their daily lives”.

“Yoga fosters strength, good health and wellness,” he said.

But one Srinagar resident saw the event as a cultural intrusion.

“This yoga is being imposed on our children to culturally change the next generations and control their minds,” they told AFP, declining to be identified for fear of reprisal.

“It´s an imposition on us.” June 21 was declared International Yoga Day a decade ago and Modi has since led events at emblematic locations across India, and last year at the UN headquarters in New York.

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