The 3-hour “Yoga Mahotsav”, held at the Rajpath and India Gate, was attended by more than 30,000 people.
The other prominent personalities who took part in the event included BJP’s Meenakshi Lekhi, Babul Supriyo, Manoj Tiwari and singer Kailash Kher. Even 66-year-old Urban Development minister Venkaiah Naidu joined the children in trying out some of the asanas.
“Practising yoga does not change anyone’s religion, India is not a religious country, it is a spiritual country,” Ramdev said to loud cheers during his address to the crowd.
The programme started with Ramdev paying homage at the Amar Jawan Jyoti. Eventually he led the large crowd to Rajpath to rehearse for international yoga day.
On June 21, Ramdev is expected to be in Jodhpur to lead 3,000 paramilitary troops through the asanas there.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who rolled out his yoga mat on Delhi’s Rajpath last year with 36,000 people, is expected to be in Chandigarh for this year’s event.
Besides, 57 ministers – including Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Education Minister Smriti Irani — will fan out across the country to lead programmes.
Ten of the ministers, including Arun Jaitley, Rajnath Singh, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Nirmala Sitharaman and Maneka Gandhi – will be leading the events in Uttar Pradesh, where assembly elections will be held next year.
This year’s celebrations have been planned on a grander scale, with multiple preparatory events already held across the US, UK and Australia.
Functions across the world were held for the first time last year after June 21 was named the International Yoga Day by the United Nations. The resolution, proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was adopted by 177 nations without a vote.