NEW DELHI: For the sake of their unborn child, women should stay away from "desire and hatred", avoid bad company, focus on spiritual thoughts and surround themselves with beautiful pictures, the government's Ayush Ministry has said in a new booklet it has put out for pregnant women.
The booklet was released by Union Minister for Ayush, Shripad Naik, as part of a series of programmes in the run-up to the International Yoga Day on June 21.
Expecting mothers are also advised to steer clear of meat, "read the life stories of great personalities"; stay away from anger, attachment and lust; be with "good people"; stay in "stable and peaceful conditions" and keep calm.
While much of it seems to be inspired by advice passed down generations, there is no scientific evidence that any of it has a bearing on the child.
The mother and child care booklet has been published by the government-funded Central Council for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy, which is a part of the Ayush Ministry.
Facing criticism and derision from many quarters, the ministry now says it will put out a clarification.
The Ayush Ministry was formed by the BJP-led government months after it took power in 2014, to give an extra push to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pitch for yoga.