NRI Affairs Correspondent
Hindus for Human Rights USA has written to Alabama State Senators urging them to join the Alabama State House in removing the 28-year-old ban on Yoga in the state’s public schools.
This is in response to the deadlock in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday 31 March on legislation that would lift the 1993 prohibition, after testimony from Christian conservatives who claimed it would lead to proselytizing Hinduism in public schools.
Earlier on 11 March, the Alabama House of Representatives had approved the bill to allow public schools to offer elective yoga courses.
In their letter dated 6 April 2021, HfHR has said, “Yoga is an Indian tradition, and no doubt it has its origin in Hinduism. While its core philosophy of Sankhya is not that prevalent in India, its practices have informed many schools of Hinduism, as well as Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Islam, Taoism, Shinto, and Christianity around the world.
“The practice has been proven to be extremely effective in helping people – almost 25 years of National Institute of Health-funded research shows that Yoga helps people with physical, emotional and mental health in every community that one can imagine. And there is no finding whatsoever that it hurts any tradition that engages with it or that it leads to religious conversions.”
“As Hindus, we encourage all Christians to be true to their traditions, to celebrate freely and well – and to enjoy the bounty that the world offers. In our view, Christians secure in their faith should have no problems engaging with the other traditions of the world in a spirit of mutual grace and sharing.”
HfHR added urging the Alabama Senate to support the legislation to permit voluntary yoga classes in public schools.
“Healthy bodies and minds that start young will be invaluable to Alabama’s health and well-being in the future – and will lead to better and happier Christians if that is the path they choose.”