On 25 April 2017 Uttar Pradesh (UP) Government decided to do away with 15 public holidays that marked the birth and death anniversaries of some well-known people. In place of that now students will be given lessons on the greatness of the concerned person on the said days. This was decided at a state cabinet meeting that was led by Yogi Adityanath, the Chief Minister. Shrikant Sharma, a minister, informed the media following the said meeting that a number of programmes would be undertaken in this regard.
Holidays which have been scrapped
The following table lists the holidays that have been done away with:
|January 24||Birth anniversary of Karpuri Thakur|
|March 29||Cheti Chand|
|April 5||Birth anniversaries of Maharshi Kashyap and Maharaj Guha|
|April 14||Hazrat Khwaja Muiuddin Chishti Ajmeri Garib Nawaj Urs|
|April 17||Birth anniversary of Chandrashekhar|
|April 28||Parshuram Jayanti|
|May 9||Maharana Pratap Jayanti|
|June 23||Jamat-ul-Alvida (Last Friday of Ramzan)|
|September 17||Vishva Karma Puja|
|September 21||Maharaja Agrasen Jayanti|
|October 5||Maharshi Valmiki Jayanti|
|October 26||Chhath Puja|
|October 31||Sardar Ballabh Bhai Patel and Acharya Narendra Dev Jayanti|
|December 2||Eid-e-Miladul Nabi|
|December 23||Chaudhary Charan Singh Jayanti|
Delhi follows suit
Impressed by the steps taken by the UP Government, Delhi too has gone ahead and cancelled holidays on birth and death anniversaries of several eminent individuals. The announcement was made on 28 April. Manish Sisodia, the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, also stated on Twitter that the state government, headed by the Aam Admi Party (AAP), was always willing to learn from the good steps taken by the other states. As he tweeted, he also provided the necessary instructions in this regard to MM Kutty, the Chief Secretary. In his written communication to the said officer, Sisodia has asked him to determine holidays in calendars of government offices and schools that can be done away with.
In a notification issued on 7 December 2016, Delhi Government had marked 13 birth and death anniversaries as holidays for 2017. Six among these are gazetted holidays and the others happen to be restricted. On the gazetted holidays the government offices remain closed. As far as restricted holidays are concerned, the upper limit for government officials has been fixed at two. Incidentally, AAP has also taken some other commendable initiatives such as mohalla clinic, whereby free healthcare is being provided in localities.
Pros and cons
Starting with the cons, it can be said for sure that this will surely disgruntle workers in government offices as well as the teachers in government schools considering how they were used to a lighter schedule. The pros outweigh the cons significantly though. For starters, the work culture – a major area of problem with government establishments for so many – is bound to improve. In spite of the reduced holidays, they will still be working a lighter schedule compared to professionals in the private sector. As far as the students are concerned, their lives will surely be enriched from the lessons that they learn from the lives of the great men in question. Soon, in time, they will be able to emulate the path shown by the aforementioned dignitaries and our country will be richer for it.