Don’t impose Surya Namaskar: Court

Staff Reporter

M.P.Govt. told not to take coercive action
BHOPAL: The Madhya Pradesh High Court in an interim order passed on Friday directed the State Government not to impose the controversial “Surya Namaskar” and “Pranayam” on unwilling students. A Bench comprising Chief Justice A. K. Patnaik and Justice Ajit Singh also served notices on the Chief Secretary and the Principal Secretary (Education).

The order, passed on a petition by Father Anand Muttungal of the MP Catholic Church, also directed the State Government not to take any coercive action against schools and students who did not wish to perform the Surya Namaskar and Pranayam, which have been termed Hindu religious rituals by several minority organisations.

“The petitioner had found the State Government’s order to be a violation of the rights of minorities enshrined in Articles 25 to 30 of the Constitution and hence moved the Court,” said Rajesh Chand, counsel for the petitioner.

A similar order was passed by the High Court on January 24, 2007 on a petition by Muslim minority rights groups, when the Government tried to organize mass Surya Namaskar in schools.