Mumbai: Seeking to strike a chord with the city’s Muslim voters, Pravin Chheda, opposition leader in the civic body, met civic chief Ajoy Mehta on Monday along with with a 22 member delegation of the Congress minorities cell and demanded a revocation of the resolution regularising Surya namaskar in civic-run schools.

After hearing the views of the members from the Congress legislators, Mehta said, “I have asked for complete information on yoga and I am going through all of it. However, the decision will be in the favour of the betterment of students. At the end of the day, we look forward to giving them a better education. I will give my decision on the resolution, accordingly.”

Following the decision of the general body meeting to regularize yoga (including surya namaskar), the Samajwadi party and the Indian National Congress strongly opposed the civic move stating that it is against the Muslim community.

Abu Azmi, state SP chief and MLA, said “Surya namaskar means worshipping and bowing down before the Sun. We (Muslims) can’t bow down before anyone but Allah. The move of pro-Hindutva parties is clearly to saffronise education; however, it aims to hurt our sentiments. Also, it is also against the Constitution.”  On the other hand, the BJP corporators have claimed that surya namaskar is beneficial for a healthy life and that the move has nothing to do with religion. Chheda said, “The BJP-Shiv Sena led government is trying to impose more restrictions on people and promote Hindutva which won’t be entertained. First they dictated about what food people of Maharashtra should eat and now they are deciding what exercise we should do.”

Rais Shaikh, Samajwadi party leader in the civic body, claimed that if surya namaskar is made mandatory in civic schools, Muslim parents would stop sending their children to these schools.

The proposal was initiated by Samita Kamble, BJP corporator in order to improve health of students of the civic schools.

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