One political leader who swept social media on International Yoga Day was not Prime Minister Narendra Modi who popularised it, but a former PM whose party managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in the Karnataka assembly polls last month: the 86-year-old
H D Deve Gowda. While many union ministers and chief ministers tweeted their pictures performing pranayaam and other asanas, media crew in large numbers reached Gowda's residence in Bengaluru to capture him performing an asana lying on his bed. The whole episode received wide attention; former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah gave away wishes of the day by tweeting a photograph; not his own, but that of Gowda's performance.
The Delhi government is planning to invite the Dalai Lama (pictured) to the introduction of a happiness curriculum in its schools from July. The curriculum would include meditation, moral lessons and mental exercise. The idea is to inculcate holistic learning in schools. This curriculum is expected to be purely activity based and no formal examination would be conducted. This comes within months of the fracas over the Dalai Lama's supposed presence at the Indian Science Congress held in Manipur this March.
In search of patriotism
Patriotism has moved from cinema halls to offices of public sector companies. A leading infrastructure company recently initiated the practice of playing the national anthem every morning in its office premises. The seven-floor building resonates with the national anthem at 10 am sharp every day. Every employee is supposed to give up whatever they are doing and stand up in respect. Another PSU is mulling doing something similar. Interestingly, in January this year the Supreme Court made playing of the national anthem in cinema halls before screening of movies optional.