Narendra Modi's love for yoga is well known. He not only practices it every day, the Gujarat chief minister is also famous for making his bureaucrats attend special yoga sessions with him. Now, he has inaugurated what is being touted as the country's first private yoga university, near Ahmedabad.
At the campus of the Lakulish yoga university yesterday Mr Modi, flanked by yoga gurus, highlighted the international appeal of yoga. "Earlier, people used to question the logic of yoga, saying at a time when advances have been made in the field of science how can anyone talk about yoga. Today, not just this country, but the entire world has accepted the power of yoga,'' the chief minister said.
The university, housed in a lotus-shaped building about 10 kilometres outside Ahmedabad, on the Sarkhej-Gandhinagar highway, has been set up by a trust that is headed by a former BJP minister I K Jadeja. The university will offer a three-year degree course for those aged between 15 and 35 for 15,000 rupees. There will also be short term courses for senior citizens.
In neighbouring Madhya Pradesh, the decision of Mr Modi's rival for the tag of the BJP's best chief minister, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, to introduce yoga in school curriculum has been controversial. But that detail is unlikely to deter Mr Modi from propagating a spread of yoga in his state.