In a move which is bound to cause controversy, yoga and surya namaskar has been made mandatory across all municipal schools in Mumbai.
There are over 1,200 municipal schools in Mumbai. The BMC governed by Shiv Sena-BJP alliance on Wednesday passed a proposal to make surya namaskar and yoga compulsory for all students.
It must be noted that BMC also runs Urdu medium schools in Mumbai's Muslim dominated pockets. There are 70 Urdu medium schools run by BMC where implementation of this proposal will become extremely difficult.
The proposal was moved by Samita Kambale, a woman corporator of BJP from Mulund in the central suburbs of Mumbai. The proposal came up for discussion in general body meeting of the BMC.
Speaking on the proposal, Shiv Sena councillors favoured introduction of martial arts instead of making surya namaskar compulsory, but later supported the proposal.
The move was vehemently opposed by the Congress, the NCP, Samajwadi Party and Raj Thackeray's Maharashtra Navnirman Sena.
Corporator Raees Shaikh of Samajwadi Party said his party will now approach BMC commissioner Ajoy Mehta, who has the power to reject the controversial proposal. Mehta can reject the proposal after citing reasons. It will then be returned to the house.
Shaikh and other corporators from SP reportedly walked out when the controversial proposal was cleared. It is learnt that a similar proposal had been introduced in the BMC in 2005 by a Congress councillor. Samajwadi Party is now exploring options to challenge the decision in court.