The DMK government ‘officially’ shifted the Tamil New Year’s day that generally falls in April to January on the Pongal Day, possibly on the grounds that it shouldn’t matter to the general public as April or January their New Year celebrations, or for that matter any other festivities, are all about plonking themselves in front of the TV from morning till evening and gather extraordinary amount of fat for themselves lazily gobbling up the sweets and oily eats that are a must for any occasion deemed special in these parts.
Governments have changed currencies and in some cases just elbowed out actual money, by moving to the handy system of full-fledged usage of credit cards and even more full-fledged defaulting. This has lead to the wonderful situation where the buyer has no money to buy and the seller has nothing left to sell. The rich have no riches. The poor have nothing to be poor of.
Governments have also changed country’s capitals —– this is of course easy, as the first letter of the country’s name is usually in capital. Anybody with an access to keyboard can change the capital.
Governments have changed the official First Ladies. There are also occasions when a States, in true federal spirit, has had a couple of official first ladies. Such an arrangement is allowed on the larger humanitarian ground that it allows the government to spend more money on providing expensive ‘Z’ grade security to more people. This is the real beauty of democracy.
But no change is truly in this extraordinary league of transplanting the New Year. This official transferring of New Year celebration is, in general, can only be described as a masterstroke based on the unimpeachable evidence that only master who had suffered a (brain) stroke can conjure up this extraordinary fantasy.
The thing to note here is that the Tamilnadu government had, with the shrewdness that comes to only to those who don’t have to go through the stuffy formality called thinking, has surgically shifted only the Tamil New Year’s day celebration to January. The New Year will continue to dawn on in April, as doubtless it will in a couple of days. The two New Year day concept is doubly rewarding, especially if you have TV channels that rake in money on such occasions of celebrations. Like the IPL cricket, the two New Year theory is made for TV audience, if you know what I mean.
Of course, it is not clear whether the Tamilnadu government is contemplating switching the month of April to January. But since it is caught up in this infectious momentum of change and novelty, it should as well.
There are many practical benefits to be had with the repositioning of April to January. This will ensure that a full, thirty-days (unless otherwise the government is mulling a change in the number of days in the months too) is removed from the calendar and conveniently hidden behind the smokescreen of time.
With thirty days gone, just imagine the splendid possibilities it will throw up: Companies will have one month less to pay salaries. In the current economic crisis, when they may perhaps be praying that the entire year comprises just a single month, the compression of April into January may not be enough. But no one can never really satisfy the corporates. If they pay any serious heed to them, the government will end up having just one day in the entire calendar —- and that will be the budget day, and that too for just announcing more tax sops to the corporates.
By dissolving April into January, the government can certainly make a tremendous role in safeguarding the world and its precarious environment, which has been affected by greenhouse effect, global warming and other such phenomena, about which lay people have little or no clue. Anyway, we have been officially told that summers are said to be more hot, and winters more cold. April is all about sweltering heat. January is cozy cool. When you mix these two what may eventually emerge may defy description, but it will be good enough to keep the environmentalists puzzled, and hence silent. I can’t think of a greater good to environment than confused and quiet green activists. In this context it is equally pertinent to point out that the world will be much more agreeable and cool place to live in if there is more environment and less environmentalists.
When the government decides to conjoin April and January, the question that will naturally emerge is: What month should follow next, February or May? This will be a ticklish matter, and the government has to necessarily also discuss whether February and May should be merged. And then, it will be March and June. And so on. This is an issue that is pregnant with the attractive opportunity for the government to do what it always does in any case: Appoint a committee. Just imagine the scope and space that a committee of this nature can occupy. It is for such chances to waste money and time that governments are actually formed and run.
If you have not started to read from only this paragraph, you will surely agree that the government is indeed forward-thinking and ahead of the times in its decision to move the Tamil New Year’s Day celebrations to January from April, which month may possibly be removed from the calendar when the government gets its next round of brainwave.
If I were you, come 14 April, I’ll observe it only as Ambedkar Jayanthi. For, to the government that has already changed the enormity called New Year, shifting of a man’s birthday should be mere a bagatelle. So next year, it might even move Ambedkar’s Jayanthi to, say, April 1 (assuming the month is allowed to exist till then)? It would serve the man right for giving us a Constitution and enshrining it with very many freedoms for us to act, and needless to say, write irresponsibly.
(This is a version of my weekly column for my publication)