Alabama, a southeastern state in the US, Thursday lifted the decades long ban on Yoga in public schools. Republican Governor Kay Ivey signed the bill. The State Board of Education had banned Yoga in public schools in 1993. Conservative groups were campaigning against lifting the ban as they believed the practice was associated with Hinduism and Buddhism. However, specific words like ‘Namaste’ and spiritual chants will still be banned. The bill specifically outlines that the practice will be limited to postures and any words specific to postures and chants will not be used. Ban on Sanskrit words will still continue. The Independent quoted Jeremy Gray, a Democrat who was campaigning to lift the ban, “With the evangelicals and this being a Bible state, they felt it was a threat to Christianity. Even 30 years later, you still have those same sentiments.” Talking about Yoga, Gray said, “This is a great way to help with mental health, being able to concentrate. Find clarity. Stress relievers, those self-help tips you need dealing with anger and anxiety.” Although some schools in the state were already practising Yoga but with a different name as it was banned in the state.
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Guwahati: Afghanistan’s former President Hamid Karzai expressed condolences over the death of prominent Afghan journalist Fahim Dashty, who fell prey to clashes that erupted between the Taliban fighters and the national resistance force in Panshir valley on 5 September and wished him paradise. “Late Fahim Dashty was a critic of my government and a loud voice for freedom of speech,” quoting Karzai, the country’s prominent newspaper Afghanistan Times reported. The former ...