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United Nations Declares June 21 as World Yoga Day
New Delhi: In a proud moment for India, the United Nations will declare June 21 as World Yoga Day on Thursday after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had urged the world community to celebrate Indian yoga at the international level in his speech at the United Nations General Assembly in September.
The decision is being seen as a huge diplomatic win for India. 170 nations had supported Modi's proposal. European Union president Herman Van Rompuy had also told Modi in November that the 28-member EU supported his idea for a Yoga Day at the UN.
"Three months ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had appealed to the world community that India's yoga should be celebrated as World Yoga Day. I am happy to inform you that we have received support of 170 nations and four days from today, the United Nations will declare June 21 as the World Yoga Day," Swaraj had said on last week.
Keeping his focus on the importance of Yoga, Modi had named Shripad Naik as the minister for Yoga and traditional medicines in the cabinet reshuffle in November.
"International day of yoga, as our PM said in his speech, will encourage the growth of a sustainable pattern of consumption and lead to a balance between man and nature. Here in New York we believe that it will be celebrated in the way all other internatonal days are celebrated," India's envoy to UN Asoke Kumar Mukerji said.
Yoga guru Ramdev had also supported Modi in his move. "By bringing Yoga glory on the global stage, Modi has paid a tribute to the legacy of our Yoga Hrishis. India owes its identity to Yoga. This will be a day not only of formalities like posters and banners, but on this day, crores of people will venture out of their homes to practise Yoga. This means honour to India and Indianness," Ramdev said.
In his speech at the UNGA, Modi had said, "Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day. Yoga is an invaluable gift of our ancient tradition. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature."
Yoga is the 5,000-year-old Indian physical, mental and spiritual practice that aims to transform body and mind. "Yoga embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well being," he had said.