Narendra Modi, India’s PM since the victory of his BJP party last May, has appointed a ‘Minister of Yoga’ after a large government reshuffle on Sunday.
Modi, a strict vegetarian who practices yoga daily, hopes to revive the ancient tradition, according to news agency AFP.
Last September, the conservative Hindu leader asked the UN General Assembly to consider a World Yoga Day. The practice “allows to discover the sense of unity between oneself, the world and nature,” Modi told the UN. While in the US, he also lauded the merits of yoga to Barack Obama.
A result of the government revamp, the Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH), formerly a prerogative of the Health ministry, in now an independent ministry. Former Tourism minister Shripad Yesso Naik in now in charge with promoting traditional Indian medicines and practices.
Modi beefed up his right-wing government on Sunday by appointing 21 new ministers, the AFP reports, with the aim of speeding up reforms to revive the faltering economy.
He added four new ministers to his cabinet, and 17 junior ministers for a 66-member strong government including Modi himself.