October 2, the birth anniversary of the ‘Father of Nation’ is not a national holiday for schools and government offices in Rajasthan. Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh’s office has released the new calendar, striking off Gandhi Jayanti from the list of holidays this year.
As expected, the ‘presstitudes’ started a fresh round of controversies, following this announcement. The ‘concerned’ media saw it as BJP’s yet another attempt at insulting legendary Congress leaders, including Mahatma Gandhi, the historical figure, and pioneer of the non-violent independence movement in India.
The Raj Bhawan spokesperson defended the decision saying that the office of the honorable governor has issued the new holiday calendar for academic institutions, based on the lines of the list of gazetted holidays observed by the state government. Meanwhile, the minister of higher education, Ms. Kiran Maheshwari said that the institutes organize celebrations on Gandhi Jayanti every year. Therefore, there’s no point of declaring this day a holiday when the schools, colleges, and universities are already open.
It makes us wonder if India needs these many holidays. It’s not the first time that government bodies, media, and politicians have locked horns on gazetted holidays. The debate over Indian holidays, mainly ‘Jayanti’ has been ongoing for a long time.
Any responsible citizen of India would know that holidays slow down the proceedings at schools and workplace. Even the former president of India, late APJ Abdul Kalam strongly criticized the idea of observing holidays on birthdays and death anniversaries. Before his death, he humbly requested the citizens, not to declare his birthday as a national holiday.
Likewise, Mr. N Radhakrishnan (Chairman, ICGS or Indian Council for Gandhian Studies), has launched a movement to have Gandhi Ji’s death anniversary and birthday declared as working days. Many people believe that it’s better to practice and promote Gandhian principles than celebrating 2nd October as a holiday and conveniently forgetting Bapu for rest of the year.
Since Bapu was an ardent supporter of cleanliness, the current prime minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi launched the ‘Clean India Campaign’ (Swachh Bharat Abhiyan) on October 2, 2014.
Following the Swachh Bharat Mission declaration, all government officers were instructed to observe October 2 as ‘Swachhta Diwas’ (Cleanliness Day) thus, setting a good example in public. The learned individuals welcomed the PM’s idea, as it was a better way of promoting Gandhian teachings. Many government offices and schools joined the mass cleaning campaigns in their premises on Gandhi Jayanti, as a tribute to late Mahatma Gandhi.
Also Read: Martyr’s Day: 5 lesser-known facts which you must know, as an Indian citizen
If people support the idea of working on Gandhi Jayanti, why doesn’t the media? Is it better for the younger generations to chill out at their homes or volunteer in a public cause to understand the importance of national holidays? Today’s choice will decide the future of upcoming generations!