Rajpath was once a showcase of military might and popular protests and when Gandhi’s Statue was slated to adorn Delhi gate, foreign media was sarcastic about the statue overseeing tanks and guns. Now that India not only held the military parade on Rajpath but also turned into a the world’s largest congregation to showcase its ancient exercise YOGA to instill peace, the message is clear. India seeks peace to co-exist with military preparedness.
The International Yoga Day observed on Rajpath with Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing 37,000 participants after a month-long preparation should go as participatory democracy cutting across the party lines and religious overtones. It may go down as the largest yoga demonstration with the Guinness Book of World Record was there to record the event.
The message was clear, not merely army tanks but also peace-driven yoga camps can be held on Rajpath. Health for all and peaceful life is the message that is sent across the world when the call for “Vasudaika Kumtumbakam” echoed in New Delhi sending a strong message of unity to the world.
Modi in his greetings to the world people on the first International Day of Yoga, said: “Greetings to people around the world on 1st International Day of Yoga! Lets pledge to make Yoga an integral part of our daily lives. In some parts of the world, the 1st rays of the sun have already been welcomed by people practicing Yoga. This will continue across the world.”
Announcing the arrival of a new Yoga era, Narendra Modi led the mass yoga demonstration at Rajpath saying it is not just the first-ever International Yoga Day, but the beginning of a new era that would inspire humanity in its quest for peace and harmony.
The Prime Minister recalled the contribution of ancient sages, yoga gurus, and practitioners across the world through the ages, for making Yoga what it is today and said as mankind advances in various spheres of development and technology, individual human beings must progress too, and Yoga offered an avenue for this.
He said Yoga was not merely an exercise, but it offered an opportunity for balancing the mind and body, and has become essential to harness an individual’s inner strength in the modern day full of stress and rage.
The Prime Minister acknowledged and thanked all countries across the world who are observing International Yoga Day today, and the 177 countries which co-sponsored the resolution in the United Nations, for adopting June 21st as International Yoga Day.
Even President Pranab Mukherjee opened a yoga camp inside the Rashtrapati Bhavan and recalled one of the most important teachers of Yoga — Patanjali. He stated that Yoga is both an art as well as a science. It has amazing curative as well as preventive powers for the well-being of humanity and for the management of many modern lifestyle related disorders.
Around 1000 residents and staff of Rashtrapati Bhavan, the President’s Body Guard, the Army Guard, ITBP and the Delhi Police participated in the mass Yoga event, that was organized in collaboration with Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga (an autonomous organization under the Ministry of AYUSH, Govt. of India).