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Yoga Enthusiasts Oppose Patenting Yoga Overseas

Angered and alarmed, a good number of yoga enthusiasts and experts in the capital are strongly opposing attempts of patenting yoga overseas.

Reacting to recent reports of yet another application filed in the US for patenting yoga, experts here feel that the very idea of patenting knowledge like yoga violates the art.

"Patenting of any kind is highly unjustified and when it comes to patenting yoga, it is even more criminal. The entire issue of patenting is very corporate," Navtej Johar of Abhyas, a yoga centre in the capital, told IANS Wednesday.

"Patenting an invention is understood but patenting organic matter like turmeric, neem and then knowledge like yoga is very unfortunate," he added.

Saying that yoga belongs to the country and the entire human race, yoga guru Swami Ramdev also echoed Johar's thoughts on the patenting issue.

"Yoga can't be owned and run like a company. Since there are attempts to patent this tradition (of yoga) in America, the Indian government and yoga organizations should take measures to prevent it," Ramdev said in Shimla Tuesday.

A Sanskrit word, yoga means the union of body and soul and is being practiced in India for thousands of years. Yoga finds mention in scriptures - the Upanishads and Puranas - composed by the Aryans in the Vedic and post-Vedic period.

"Yoga has its roots in India. How can anyone else think of patenting it?" asked a surprised Deepika Jindal, wife of steel baron Ratan Jindal and an ardent yoga enthusiast.

"That's the thing with us. We don't take our possessions seriously until someone else tries to grab it from us. Patenting of yoga overseas must not happen," Deepika told IANS.

Author Suketu Mehta of "Maximum City: Bombay lost and found" fame goes one step ahead saying that if the copying of western drugs is illegal so should be the patenting of yoga. "After all, this is also an intellectual
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