Nation worried over national holidays falling on weekends

‘Is global warming to blame,’ Ministers take holiday to figure out

New Delhi: First it was the Independence Day of 2010. Then it was the Gandhi Jayanthi day. After that it was the Christmas. And now, it’s going to be the coming New Year day. Alarmed by these repeated instances of national holidays falling dangerously on weekend holidays, the government today promised to ensure such ‘catastrophic accidents’ don’t occur in the future.

The government also announced the forming of a high-level Ministerial Committee to look into the whole matter and decide the future course of inaction. Within hours of its formation, the Committee swung into swift action and decided to have first-hand experience of the whole process by taking a series of holidays on non-weekend days.

‘It is not as if the committee members have never experienced holidays on regular week days. After all, they are veteran Ministers and their careers have been built around enjoying holidays right through,’ a government spokesperson said. ‘But rather than just aimlessly go through with their holidays, they now have more purpose to them. That is, get more allowances on their holidays,’ the spokesperson added.

The whole idea is that they will have holidays on week days. And then they will enjoy holidays on weekends. After that the Ministerial Committee will meet, if there are no holidays in the interregnum, and exchange notes on the difference between the two sets of holidays. Also, they will discuss whether this phenomenon of national holidays falling on weekend holidays has got anything to do with the global warming process. ‘These days we have to bring in the global warming process into everything, including even Dhoni’s continuous loss of tosses’.

Meanwhile, a source in the Congress said that ‘nobody can question UPA government’s seriousness on holidays. We have sent the right message by sending the Ministers on holidays. We are aware of the fact that holidays fall under Constitutionally guaranteed rights. Our founding fathers symbolically represented the eternal quest of human beings to enjoy lifelong holidays by creating the post of vice-president’. The source said that the government will prepare a white paper on general holidays and discuss it threadbare after the Ministers and officials return from their year-end vacation.

There are two strategies before the government. One it will pursue the idea of ensuring that the national holidays don’t fall on the all-important weekends. Secondly, it can explore the possibility of enhancing the days in the weekends. ‘The creative way to solve the whole problem will be to abolish Mondays and merging them totally either with Saturdays or Sundays,’ Kapil Sibal, the Union Minister for Everything said.

‘But there are some legal issues involved. Monday is already the day that most people fall sick and hence take leave. And Article 22/7 of the Constitution explicitly prevents granting of holiday to people who are already on leave,’ Sibal pointed out and presented several historical precedents, including the case where they had to ‘observe’ February 30 and announce it as a holiday in the year 1973 because of the fact there was a drought of holidays in that month because it had only 28 days to start with.

Sibal also added that under the orders of Sonia Gandhi, the government would shortly come up with a comprehensive fiscal stimulus package to employees forced to enjoy government holiday on weekends. There is also a National Rural Holiday Guarantee Scheme on the anvil, providing the aam admi what he needs the most: A holiday everyday.

Elsewhere, the opposition parties flayed the government for sleeping on the holidays. ‘As usual they have acted very late. They should have started the process last year itself when the calendar for 2010 arrived,’ the BJP said.

You know what any schoolboy does upon getting a calendar. He immediately checks for the holidays and notes down when festivals like Deepavali, Pongal occur or what will be a convenient date for a national leader to die. ‘This government does not have even the foresight of a school student,’ the CPI-M politburo in a resolution said.

‘We Left parties have always been proactive on this matter. But we realise that holidays are sparse commodities. That is why we regularly organise hartals and bandhs to provide adequate compensation to the public,’ CPI’s D Raja said and added that the Left parties are planning a nationwide strike to underscore the need for regular nationwide strikes to ensure a free and equitable supply of holidays to the people.  Raja also made an impassioned plea to abolish the privatisation of holidays. ‘Nationalisation of holidays alone can take a country forward like it has Cuba and North Korea,’ he added.

(Disclaimer: Happy Holidays)