In Kashmir, Muzamil Dar Refused To Attend Yoga Day, Guess Where It Landed Him

By Shruti Aurangabadkar:

On the suggestion of Narendra Modi, the UN General Assembly declared 21 June to be the International Yoga Day. “By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help us deal with climate change,” he said. And this even seemed to come to fruition, according to Kiran Bedi’s tweet, which was subsequently thoroughly mocked for the implication of Yoga Day causing rain in Delhi.

Of course amidst this, a much larger issue regarding Yoga Day was taking place in Kashmir University, specifically regarding its apparent ‘mandatory’ nature of participation. Even as “Jammu and Kashmir was set to become the yoga capital of India”, a scholar from the English department, Muzamil Farooq Dar, a resident of Gandibagh-Kakapora, Pulwama, was arrested during the night of 23rd June. The police conducted a nocturnal raid on his residence, due to his alleged leadership role in opposing Yoga Day celebrations on campus on the 20th of June. Some reports claim several students have been taken into custody. Hazratbal Superintendent of Police Rayees Bhat denied that the student had been detained by the police. “We have no information on the matter. Our men have not arrested any student,” he said. Social media reacted strongly to the news, with comics such as this one.


Following the arrest, a massive spate of demonstrations by the students broke out in solidarity—which led to the cancellation of the Yoga Day event—and have boycotted their classes and braved the rain to protest “police highhandedness”, demanding his immediate release.

Eyewitnesses reported that hundreds of students participated in the boycott, which led to a halt in functioning of multiple departments. The administration block was locked up, trapping the officials inside until five pm, when the police were able to break through. “KU has failed to ensure safety to its students,” one of the protestors involved in the sit-in protest was reported as saying. Many of the students later went on a hunger strike, holding placards which read “fasting till death”. National Conference president Omar Abdullah took to twitter to express his surprise on the issue.


The arrest of innocent Muzamil would jeopardize his career and his family had to suffer because of the harassment,” said the protesting students, and it remains to be seen how this issue might be resolved. Mass condemnation has followed this news, but if opposing yoga can be grounds for arrest in India, or for the involvement of police at all, one has to wonder what the next step might be.

Do you find online payments safe?

Take this survey and help companies and the government make online payments safer for you.

Take the Survey
Similar Posts

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below