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A first hand experience of Yoga Day with PM Modi in Dehradun

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This 21st  June we saw the 4th year of International Yoga day being celebrated with full vigour. The push from the current government to have this celebrated across the world have been unprecedented. Indian Consulates all across the world were engaging with Indian diaspora and encouraging everyone to come out and celebrate. Indian media also showed International Yoga day being celebrated all across the globe and social media was busy with citizens posting their pics showing their participation.

Prime minister as always was looking to celebrate this with his fellow citizens and this time he chose the Forest Research Institute in Dehradun. This building is located in Dehradun in the hilly state of Uttarakhand and has the  Indian Military Academy premises in the neighbourhood. People who have seen this building would know how mesmerizing it is. The aura of this building is no less than presidential palace located in New Delhi.

My many friends, family and relatives were looking forward to participating in this event and had got themselves registered on time. Some had even started practising in advance to ensure then when PM joins them, they should not be looking unfit in-front of him.  After the event was over I had a chat with a few people who participated and ensured that spoke to people who were either ideologically neutral or not a big fanboy of Prime Minister, so will just be sharing a few thoughts and insights from it. There were some positives and some negatives which the readers can take as per their convenience.

State Governments Efficiency

The event was very well organised. Approximately 45 thousand people participated in this event who were from all age groups. The traffic was stopped much earlier and participants had to walk to the venue. Some enthusiastic participants even reached the venue at 0200 hrs for an event supposed to start a 0600 hrs. The administration, considering it is the summer season ensured that fruits and water were provided to the participants at no cost.

Crowd management was great, this probably is due to the state which has been organising Kumbh festival and had clearly taken lessons to manage crowd efficiently. There were big screens all across the venue, guiding people to sit at their allocated places.

Along with fruits and snacks, mats were also provided to the participants in case someone has turned up without their yoga mats.

Prime Minister’s Aura

As per participants, the PM certainly holds to his charismatic image. The participants told that before the PM came, there were state leaders at the podium but the public did not show the kind of enthusiasm the PM usually gets.

Prime Minister was at the venue exact at 0600 which was appreciated by all. Considering the temperature which would be rising shortly and how politicians are infamous for not being punctual, his arrival on time was treated as a breath of fresh air.  The moment the prime minister came there was a pin drop silence in the crowd, reflecting the respect and love which the prime minister holds among the masses. The people who got a glimpse of the PM,  stated that he looked very fresh, energetic and dynamic.

Staying on subject

He spoke for a bit and spoke strictly on the subject, keeping the interaction very non-political. This was appreciated by all participants as the message has no political overtone and contained a positive message for all. After speaking he got to business right away and joined the kids and did his Asana’s with ease. Once the event was completed, he was swift and left at 0800 for Delhi.

Swatch Bharat still a photo opportunity for many

While the push for the cleanliness drive has been driven by the PM, it is yet to be endorsed by the masses in general. Many Doonites were pained to see the level of garbage in such a magnificent compound. The place was full of banana peels, empty plastic water bottles, half-eaten apples etc. Some people carried their rubbish to dispose of it responsibly but those were a minority. The pledge for keeping the city clean need to be endorsed by the citizen in letter and spirit.

Small greed still dominates us

Great nations are not great only because of great roads, buildings and internet but of law-abiding citizens who are equally aware of their basic duties as well as rights. Many participants collected multiple mats as they were being distributed free of cost and tried to hoard them. To do yoga, one mat is enough, hoarding extra mats neither makes you any healthier or more flexible. This behaviour shows that there is clearly a gap in what we want the government to do and what we do. This behaviour only explains why freebies still work in elections and are still considered an effective way to win in a democracy.

I look forward to participating in Yoga day next year with much more informed citizens who are equally aware of their rights with duties.





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