Hindus upset at BBC calling Yoga “fad”

CAPTION: Yoga teachers in a yoga studio in Nevada with Rajan Zed (middle). In the background is “Om”, sacred symbol of Hinduism. 

Hindus have criticized British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) for labeling “yoga” as “fad”.

BBC News-World website posted a video on January 10 under its “Watch/Listen”, which was titled as “Man behind yoga and other new age fads”.

Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, pointed out that terming yoga as one of the fads, which was introduced and nourished by world’s oldest religion Hinduism, was very insensitive and belittling of the entire community.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, said that BBC Director-General Lord Tony Hall and Trustees Chairman Lord Patten of Barnes should immediately apologize for this inappropriate terminology and hurting the feelings of about one billion Hindus and publish it on BBC website.

Rajan Zed noted that although under its “our values”, BBC claimed “we respect each other and celebrate our diversity”, but describing yoga as “fad”, which was usually referred as “a living fossil” and whose traces went back to around 2,000 BCE to Indus Valley civilization,was highly “disrespectful”. Was calling yoga as “fad” BBC’s way of educating and informing the world correctly; whose “mission” was listed as: “to enrich people’s lives with programmes and services that inform, educate and entertain”? Zed asked.

Few months back BBC labeled Hindu festival of Holi as “filthy festival” to which it apologized later. In an email to Zed, BBC News’ Editor On Demand Mark Barlex then wrote: “…we apologise for any offence that was caused.”

Founded in 1922, headquartered in Westminster London, and established under the Royal Charter; world’s largest broadcaster BBC (autonomous public service broadcaster) has been blamed in the past for racism, imperialist stance, Indophobic bias, anti-Hindu bigotry, anti-American bias, etc. Helen Boaden is Director of BBC News Group and Diane Coyle is Trustees Vice Chairman.

Yoga, a world heritage and liberation powerhouse, was a mental and physical discipline handed down from one guru to next, for everybody to share and benefit from. According to Patanjali who codified it in Yoga Sutra, yoga was a methodical effort to attain perfection, through the control of the different elements of human nature, physical and psychical. It was the repository of something basic in the human soul and psyche, Rajan Zed added.

According to United States National Institutes of Health, yoga may help one to feel more relaxed, be more flexible, improve posture, breathe deeply, and get rid of stress. According to an estimate, about 16 million Americans, including many celebrities, now practice yoga.

Oxford Concise Dictionary of World Religions defines “yoga” as: “The means or techniques for transforming consciousness and attaining liberation…”

“Fad” generally means “passing fashion” which is short-lived.

Hinduism is the third largest religion of the world and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.

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