Vice President Hamid Ansari is likely to inaugurate a two-day International Conference on Yoga on June 22 at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi, AYUSH minister Shripad Naik said on Friday, according to an official statement.
Ansari had raised many eyebrows for his absence during the celebration of the International Yoga Day (IYD) on June 21 last year in Rajpath, New Delhi. The Vice President's spokesperson had reportedly said that he was not invited by the concerned minister to the event, according to the Indian Express.
The Narendra Modi-led government had also faced stiff opposition from minority groups for its recommendation of various yoga protocols. This time, however, the government has decided to keep off controversy by not making Om chanting compulsory and not including Surya Namaskar in the yoga practices.
"I appeal people from all walks of life to come forward to promote the rich cultural heritage of India, especially yoga, as unifying phenomena throughout the world and make it a mass movement," Naik was quoted by the PTI as saying.
The central government has directed all the state/ UT governments to celebrate the International Yoga Day at state headquarters, district, block and village level. The various union ministries have also been urged to observe the day in their premises on June 21. In the national capital, the New Delhi Municipal Council will organise a mass yoga demonstration, which is likely to be attended by 10,000 people.
Nearly 3.66 million volunteers enrolled in 38,769 National Service Scheme (NSS) units in colleges/ schools are also likely to participate in the yoga demonstration exercises across the country, the official statement said. Six lakh National Cadet Corps (NCC) are expected to engage in mass yoga demonstrations at their respective camps.
The main event would be held in Chandigarh on June 21 where Prime Minister Narendra Modi and 25,000-30,000 participants are likely to perform yoga for 45 minutes from 7-7.45 a.m.
The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution on Dec. 11, 2014, declaring June 21 as the World Yoga Day after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed the same during his first address to the U.N. General Assembly in June 2014.