India’s soft power got a defining global endorsement, with the United Nations declaring June 21 as the World Yoga Day. It’s also a diplomatic triumph for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had formally proposed declaring an International Day for Yoga during his maiden speech at the United Nations General Assembly on September 27.
The 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly December 11 adopted by acclamation draft Resolution, A/69/L.17 with a record number of 175 countries co-sponsoring it.
It’s literally fast-track diplomacy for India as the UN declared the Yoga Day barely 80 days after the pioneering idea was mooted by the yoga-practising 64-year-old Indian leader. The declaration has triggered jubilation in India and all over the world, where the ancient discipline of yoga – a union of mind and body – has found a growing number of ardent practitioners and devotees.
In his address at the UNGA on September 27, Mr Modi had made a robust pitch for yoga as the world’s answer to sustainable development and healthy lifestyle that harmonises the mind and the spirit. “Yoga is an invaluable gift of our ancient tradition. Yoga embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help us deal with climate change. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day,” Mr Modi had argued.