No Holi day

Secular holidays lose out to religious ones…in the name of ‘secularism’

The Pioneer blames the UPA government for dropping Holi from the list of compulsory public holidays for 2007. It notices minority appeasement—‘a strange parity in keeping with its perverse notion of ‘secularism’ and to pander to the clergy-dominated Muslim leadership’—behind the government’s decision to offer equal number of public holidays to Hindus and Muslims (five each).

One cannot but notice that with a policy based on this style of secularism, it is the festival with the least religious colour (pun unintended) that gets left out of the list. A government committed to true secularism would have encouraged occasions where people could get together and have fun. Instead, apart from the political anniversaries, all you have left are unambiguously religious ones.

14 thoughts on “No Holi day”

  1. Hurray! You switched to full feeds 🙂 Though I probably will come to the blog, your layout and font is quite appealing.

    Nitin’s response: I’m glad you liked it. Like you, I too prefer to read blogs in their natural environment. For me feeds just help to identify which ones to read.

  2. Nitin, an irrelevant comment… Pioneer’s edit page link is not permanent (atleast when I used to link to them). Your link might take you to tomorrow’s edit page if you click on it tomorrow 🙂

  3. Sriram,

    I’m quoting it in toto

    Hurting Hindus

    The Pioneer Edit Desk

    UPA drops Holi from holiday list

    Strange are the ways of the UPA Government. Taking its Muslim appeasement policy to an absurd limit, it has now decreed that Holi, celebrated by Hindus across the country, shall not be a gazetted holiday. The list of gazetted holidays for 2007, released by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, whose work is directly supervised by the Prime Minister, mentions five Muslim festivals – Eid-ul Zuha, Muharram, Milad-un-Nabi, Eid-ul Fitr and Eid-ul Zuha. It also clarifies that since Eid-ul Juha “falls twice in the year”, both occasions must be observed as compulsory holidays in all Central Government offices. Enforcing a strange parity in keeping with its perverse notion of ‘secularism’ and to pander to the clergy-dominated Muslim leadership, such as it is, the UPA Government has declared five Hindu festivals as compulsory holidays – Maha Shivaratri, Ram Navami, Janmashtami, Dussehra and Diwali. Two Christian festivals – Good Friday and Christmas – and one each of Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists, have been listed as compulsory holidays. In effect, the UPA Government has asserted that the country’s overwhelming majority must suffer in silence for the sake of the regime’s deplorable vote-bank politics. It also means that Hindu sentiments count for nothing with a Prime Minister who is obsessed with solving imagined grievances of Muslims and communalising Government policy to further his party’s electoral prospects to the detriment of the nation. That parties across the spectrum have chosen to remain silent over this insult and injury heaped upon Hindus is reflective of their mistaken belief that Hindu sensitivities can be trampled upon without any concern.

    It has been pointed out by drum-beaters of the UPA Government that it makes little sense to declare Holi a gazetted holiday since it falls on Sunday. If that be the case, the Government owes an explanation as to why Milad-un-Nabi, Prophet Mohammed’s birth anniversary, and Eid-ul Fitr, which also fall on Sunday, have been listed as gazetted holidays. Of course, there can be no sensible explanation because the logic, if at all this word can be used, behind the decision is toxic and the intention diabolical. In the past, mindful of sensitivities and sentiments, Holi has been listed as a gazetted holiday while State Governments have been allowed the freedom to declare the preceding or following day as a restricted holiday. This year’s callous move is of a piece with the decision taken by Mr VP Singh’s Government to declare Milad-un-Nabi as a gazetted holiday, making India one of the rare countries to observe Prophet Mohammed’s birth anniversary. That Saudi Arabia does not follow this tradition was conveniently ignored by a Prime Minister whose cynical political agenda finally became his undoing. The Prime Minister is welcome to believe that he can treat Hindus with contempt and disregard their festivals. Probably he will go up in the esteem of his political masters by doing so. But he would be utterly naive to think he can get away by so brazenly pushing his “Muslims first” agenda; he may be applauded by the neo-converts to Sufiana secularism and those who look down upon Hindu festivals. That does not necessarily mean the rest of India – including, it must be said, many Muslims and Christians – will be cheering him in this detestable act.

  4. It is only in our country that the whole country is made to take a holiday even when the event concerns only a minority. What a joke secularism has become.

  5. On a practical note, how do you even get to your place of work/education on Holi? Maybe i am terribly out of touch, but last i remember Holi was a remarkably bad day to venture out – especially for women.

  6. Gaurav,

    Notice the use of the word “least religious colour”. Compare Holi to those on the list. Maha Shivaratri, Ram Navami, Janmashtami, Dussehra, Diwali, Eid-ul Zuha, Muharram, Milad-un-Nabi, Eid-ul Fitr, Mahavir Jayanti, Baudh Purnima, Guru Nanak’s birthday.

  7. I dont understand the logic and reasoning of – hindus and muslims should get five public holidays each. Hey, why leave Christians out, they should get good friday, and defer easter to monday. Also why not Sikhs, the birthdays of their top five gurus.

    Stupid secularism !!

  8. The pandering of the current Govt. to the minorities (beyond boundaries) and the pseudo-secularism was just mildly annoying up till now, but the lack of any sense and reason behind the decisions have made them positively irritating these days.
    Another example —

  9. Nitin,

    The way things are going, the day is not far when Manmohan Singh is going to say…. There should be equal percentage of Hindus, Muslims, Christians, etc etc in the country. So bring down the % of Hindus to 20%. Rest either convert or migrate!

    It may sound absurd now, but then, many absurd sounding things have turned out to be realities in this Govt’s regime! So be prepared!

  10. Having two Eid ul Adhas in the same calender year happens once in a while.This is due to the fact the Islamic hijri calender is a lunar calender.Also Eid ul Adha this year coincided with the New Year.
    As far Eid Milad un Nabi not being observed in Saudi Arabia,that is because the Saudi establishment is Wahabi dominated who consider celebrating Eid Milad un Nabi a bidah – a deviation.Wonder of wonders – the Pioneer wants us to follow Wahabi norms ! Indian muslims in contrast are mainly Hanafi sunni.
    Correct me if I am wrong but I thought Holi is mainly celebrated in North India.

  11. History Lover,

    The argument against the two Eid’s is The Pioneer’s. I do not agree with it. If public holidays are given for religious occasions, then it is consistent to give two holidays in those years when such things happen.

    That Holi is only celebrated in North India, even if this is still accurate, is not good enough a reason to take it off the list (if it was there in the first place). Why is Hindi the national language then?

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