From art of killing to Art of Living

Posted on: Tuesday, July 31, 2012

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Former insurgents from Assam - 241 in all - have a new aim in life: breathe in, breathe out, and relax. The ex-gunslingers are into something far more laid back these days - yoga.
They are taking part in a 30-day training and rehabilitation course during which they will learn

yoga, self-improvement, and vocational training from Art of Living gurus in Bengaluru.
"We have been given a second life. We have improved ourselves through yoga, mental exercises and meditation," said Shyamanta Handique, 45, from Sonitpur.

Of the 241 ex-guerrilla fighters, 231 belonged to the dreaded outfit United Liberation Front of Asom (Ulfa).
Most of them had acquired warfare skills in the Kachin jungles of Myanmar and Bhutan.

A high-level committee gave the go-ahead to the initiative after Art of Living experts approached the Assam government. The course is meant to ensure that the former militants go back to society as agents of change.

"Many of the participants say they, as well as their state, would have been better off had they received such training 30 years ago," said Sanjay Kumar, CEO, government executive program, Art of Living.

The course has also proved physically invigorating for the former cadres, who are used to dealing with testing conditions.

"Because of these physical exercises, I have lost weight and my chest pain has disappeared," says Dilip Hussain, 40, from Goalpara.

Upon return, almost all of them intend to take up organic farming. Former Ulfa members Maqbool Hussain and Monuj Roy - both of whom have plans of dairy farming - have a common promise: "We will change our society for the better."

Source: Hindustantimes