Friday 19 July 2024

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Gandhi holiday cancellation mars controversy

 

Amidst controversy over cancellation of Gandhi Jayanti holiday in Goa, the local Bharatiya Janata Party government has kept the notification in abeyance.

"I will go ahead with it once it is clarified whether the state government is empowered to cancel a national holiday"" states chief minister Manohar Parrikar.

Along with it, he has also cancelled 30 May, the Goa Statehood Day, as the holiday.

The opposition, especially the Congress, however has vehemently opposed the move, though everybody has welcomed Parrikar’s bold step to reduce the number of holidays. "Definitely, it needs to be done. But why begin with Gandhi?", asks Luizinho Faleiro, the state opposition leader.

"Because Gandhiji believed that work is God", states Parrikar. The hard-core swayamsevak of the RSS also dismisses the allegation that his action smacks of the anti-Gandhi feelings of the RSS.

"RSS never taught me to hate Gandhi. I may hate some of his bad ideas", states Parrikar, but does not elaborate what Gandhian thoughts he does not agree with. In fact, he argues that Gandhi is the right person to begin with the work culture in the administration.

"While the hatred of the Sangh Parivar towards Gandhi is a known fact, Bapuji does not belong to any particular caste due to which any vote bank will protest", observes Devendra Kandolkar, a socialist activist belonging to Rashtra Seva Dal.

Followed by this, Parrikar plans to reduce the number of holidays while making several religious holidays optional. With every 26th Goan here is a government servant, any one or two consecutive holidays in a week brings the whole administration to a standstill in the 13-lakh strong state.

Goa normally gets 16 holidays, seven out of which including Gandhi Jayanti, Ambedkar Jayanti, two national days and three religious days are national holidays under the Negotiable Instruments Act. Besides remaining nine state holidays, two more are given as restricted holidays.

Parrikar now plans to reduce the state holidays. "But in that case, the government should increase the restricted holidays to at least eight", feels Ajit Talaulikar, president of the Goa Government Employees Association.

Though Parrikar is keen on canceling the Gandhi Jayanti holiday for the reasons best known to him, the order issued in this regard is presently kept in the cold storage since it is a national holiday. The controversy however may erupt once again if he goes ahead with it.


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