India

Govt refutes AYUSH Ministry-Muslim controversy

13 Mar 2016 | By Gaurav
The AYUSH Ministry's anti-Muslim row

The AYUSH ministry has denied claims made by an investigative report that alleged that the government does not recruit Muslims as yoga trainers, as per policy.

The ministry said, contents regarding religion-based data in the alleged RTI response aren't only fabricated but factually incorrect also.

The ministry added that they would take appropriate measures against the publication and journalist involved.

In context: The AYUSH Ministry's anti-Muslim row

11 Mar 2016AYUSH Min: We dont recruit Muslims

In a blunt statement, the AYUSH Ministry stated in an RTI response that, as per government policy, it does not recruit Muslims.

The query was about Muslim teachers and trainers recruited by the AYUSH Ministry for foreign assignments during World Yoga Day 2015.

The ministry stated that 711 Muslim yoga trainers had applied for the short-term assignment abroad, but none were shortlisted.

RTI QueryWhat was the RTI query?

The RTI query was filed by Pushp Sharma, an investigative journalist with the Milli Gazette.

It sought information on the number of Yoga Councils that the ministry has formed in the past and the details of the members of these councils.

It also sought specific information on the number of Muslim candidates appointed to the Yoga Councils since the ministry's inception.

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Controversy What was the government's response to the query?

According to documents provided by the Milli Gazette, the government stated that no Yoga Councils had been formed since the ministry's inception.

It added that till October 2015, 3841 Muslim candidates applied to the Ministry as trainers, but none got selected.

It further stated that "As per government policy, no Muslim was invited, selected or sent abroad," for the 2015 World Yoga Day celebrations.

Govt 'accidentally' revealed the truth": Sharma

"It is quite obvious that since the ministry is new and so is the staff, someone has inadvertently passed on to me not only the two computer generated papers but also the annexure, which are usually never sent to RTI applicants.” - Pushp Sharma.

13 Mar 2016Govt refutes AYUSH Ministry-Muslim controversy

"Fabricated documents, no reference to religion"

"Annexure I to that letter has never been issued by the Ministry of AYUSH or any of its agencies. ...invitations were sent to yoga experts/enthusiasts without reference to their religions." - AYUSH Ministry's official response to allegations.