Free Press Journal

Yoga Day observed in 192 countries, Yemen only exception: Govt


Mumbai Trainee Police participate during Yoga at the inauguration of the International Yoga day, at Marine Drive, in Mumbai on June 21, 2015… Photo by Bhushan Koyande

New Delhi: The International Day of Yoga was observed in all 192 countries except strife-torn Yemen, the Union Cabinet was informed today. Soon after the Cabinet meet ended at the Prime Minister’s Office this morning, the members were briefed about the Yoga Day celebrations across the world and in India, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the official event on Rajpath.

“Except Yemen, where we do not have an embassy, Yoga Day was celebrated in around 192 countries with great enthusiasm,” Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters while briefing on Cabinet decisions.

India had shut down its embassy in strife-torn Yemen a few months ago. The Day was also observed in over 44 Islamic nations, the minister said. His remarks on celebrations in Islamic countries came against the backdrop of the government stressing that yoga has nothing to do with any particular religion.

Prasad, however, did not specify as to which ministry, External Affairs or AYUSH, briefed the Cabinet on the issue.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj attended the Cabinet meeting, before she left for Nepal to attend a donors’ conclave called to make efforts to rebuild the earthquake-hit nation.

Meanwhile, Prasad and Home Minister Rajnath Singh remained tight-lipped on reports that the government plans to celebrate the festival of ‘Raksha Bandhan’ in a big way. Sources later said that if there is any such proposal, it will reach the Cabinet stage after the basic details are finalised. According to media reports, the issue of celebrating ‘Raksha Bandhan’ was discussed in a recent Cabinet meeting where four Union ministers were asked to work out the details.