Aligarh: Referring to the ongoing controversy over chanting of vedic mantras while performing Yoga, vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari’s wife Salma Ansari on Monday said that there is nothing wrong in saying ‘Om’. “Nothing wrong in saying ‘OM’, don’t you say ‘Allah’ or God or ‘Rab’? What is the difference? All must do Yoga. And when we pronounce ‘Om’ we get more oxygen,” she said.
“Opposition to Yoga is totally wrong as chanting ‘OM’ improves health, I would have had few damaged bones if not for Yoga,” she added. Salma Ansari’s comments come in the backdrop of accusations made by the Opposition, that the Centre was pushing its ‘Hindutva’ agenda by asking participants to chant vedic mantras during the Yoga Day event.
The chanting of ‘Om’ and Vedic mantras has been included in the common protocol – just as was the case last year – for celebrating International Day of Yoga on June 21, triggering a controversy similar to what was witnessed when the event was held earlier.
While the Ayush ministry clarified the protocol is not compulsory, some political parties accused the government of pushing its Hindutva agenda by asking participants to chant Vedic mantras and ‘ Om’ before the 45-minute session. The Congress, however, criticised the BJP-led government for being `insensitive`, saying yoga, a great discipline of ancient India, does not belong to the saffron party. The JD(U) termed it as yet another attempt to `impose the communal agenda“on Indian masses.