Should there be a holiday on Gandhi Jayanti?

This was a valid, and a little less schismatic this time, question raised by Shashi Tharoor (again, on Twitter). Personally, I have no problem with national holidays and if I’m not wrong we just have 3 national holidays. Before we can answer whether we should have a holiday on the birthday of a person who worshipped work, we have to decide why in the first place we take a holiday on this day?

Ideally, this type of holiday should be taken so that we can sit aside for a day and think about the great soul. People should get together, whether online and offline, and talk about Mahatma Gandhi: his life, his philosophy, how he supposedly got us independence, his non-violent (and controversial) ways, and what he thought about the world in general (and about sex, according to this Tweet from Pritish Nandy). There should be neighborhood gatherings (do we still have those?) of kids and adults and hold discussions on Mahatma Gandhi. Do we do that? Hardly.

For instance, this time it was nothing but an extended weekend. People pack up their bags and go to visit places they can visit and come back by late Sunday evening. Or they simply laze around. You hear or read things about Gandhi only while casually browsing through TV news channels, Twitter streams and blogs. Music and entertainment channels start broadcasting Valentines-related or festival-related programs days in advance (so that people don’t absentmindedly forget about spending their money on greeting cards, expensive gifts and themed dinners). They don’t even show themed songs the way they, occasionally, do on Republic and Independence Days. So it just becomes a holiday. So should we have it?

This holiday should be scrapped. But instead of working or studying, people should do some brainstorming on how we can improve our country? When was the last time you constructively talked about making your country a better place to live? We all criticize and crib as regularly as we shit, but how many times we actually think about solutions and how to implement them? If the guys at BlogActionDay can organize blog action days year after year and motivate bloggers all over the world to write on relevant topics, why cannot we organize such days on Gandhi Jayanti? Senior managers and school/college principals should organize cleanliness drives where they visit neighboring places and clean them up. You may think what can be achieved by doing such things once a year? Not much. But do you think our country is so hopeless that if hundreds of thousands of people participate in this annual event, not even a few hundred will carry on the work for a few more days and in the process motivate more people?

0 thoughts on “Should there be a holiday on Gandhi Jayanti?

  1. Mai Harinder Kaur

    While I am no fan of Mohandas K. Gandhi, I do have a suggestion.

    Use the USA’s celebration of Martin Luther King Day as a model. On – and around – that day, we have MLK, his ideas and ideals and accomplishments, coming out of our ears. There are public service announcements on TV, biographies and, of course, some analysis on the news. (I’m not objecting, just stating the fact.)

    Don’t worry, though, after that day, we all go back to our usual. BS. But maybe not, Barack Obama is President.

    How you would implement this idea in India I have no idea. At least it’s a starting point, a model.

  2. Jayash

    Why blaming each others, where in we just need to work around. Each father and son has to initiate to working for our country and propogate a good culture across. This propgations should be our product and should show case. This good culture should become our global market. After 10 years our country need to good culture ,

    so we have a market for good culture globally like fresh oxigen and water , this is the one we are missing.

  3. bathroom suites

    Work is Worship thats what i too believe but there are some certain things just like some rules, regulations which we need to follow in any country, There are three national holidays and they are 15th Aug, 26the January and 2nd Octomber, then why should we work on 15th sug and 26th jan???