Forces display ‘soft power’ from Siachen to South China Sea

New Delhi, June 21 (IANS) India’s armed forces on Sunday demonstrated the country’s ‘soft-power’, participating in the first International Yoga Day at the highest battlefield of Siachen to the South China Sea and Mediterranean Sea.

Soldiers practiced yoga at the Siachen glacier, the world’s highest battlefield at 5,400 metres altitude, and also in Ladakh and Kargil, along with all major stations across the country.

The Indian Navy, observing “Yoga across the Oceans”, had ship crews stationed in international waters, from the Mediterranean to the South China Sea practising yoga.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar was in Meerut for the Yoga Day celebrations, while the three Services chiefs — General Dalbir Singh, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha and Admiral R.K. Dhowan — were at Rajpath where a massive display of yoga asanas was put together, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Events were organised at all major army, navy and air force stations across the country, the defence ministry said.

At Siachen, a glacier along the India-Pakistan border where India has permanent deployment of soldiers, the Yoga Day started at 7 a.m. at a temperature of minus 4 degrees Celsius.

White yoga mats were placed on the ice sheet, as the soldiers, dressed in special suits performed yoga at the sub-zero temperature.

In the South China Sea, which has been witnessing tension over China’s growing claim to the waters, Indian Naval Ships (INS) Ranvir, Satpura, Kamorta and Shakti displayed the spiritual power of India through yoga drills.

A record-breaking 37,000 people, including senior officials and diplomats, led by Modi performed yoga in Delhi, as India marked the inaugural International Day of Yoga.

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