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Indians ahead in enjoying public holidays

by Rinku Khumukcham
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Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann’s government declared a public holiday on Martyr’s Day (Shahidi Diwas), thus increasing the loss of working hours and productivity. What does the government want to convey after announcing a new public holiday? Actually the new Chief Minister is expected to follow the path of extra work, instead of making the government machinery idle by declaring one more holiday. The closure of government offices ultimately causes trouble to the public and increases the burden on the government exchequer. Taking this move seriously, the Chandigarh administration and the Haryana government also announced a holiday on Shahidi Diwas, closing all government offices for a day. That’s not a good idea. This indicates that the Aam Aadmi Party believes in leisure rather than increasing productivity.
On the other hand, there is the example of Uttar Pradesh, where Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath of the BJP had announced the cancellation of 15 public holidays as soon as he took office in April 2017 during his first tenure. These holidays were related to the birthday or death anniversary of some prominent persons. These holidays were started by the previous governments of Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). Yogi Adityanath had said that “due to so many birthday related holidays, the education session of 220 days in schools was reduced to 120 days.” Here, I must tell you that it is a fact that we Indians enjoy the most public holidays in the world. A 2014 report by Mercer revealed that India and Colombia are the two countries in the world which have the most number of public holidays, while the US and Mexico have the fewest public holidays. In 2015, hotels.com, a travel related portal, again ranked India above Colombia in terms of having maximum public holidays.
In 2003, George Fernandes, the then Defense Minister of India, had also raised concerns about declining productivity due to the high number of public holidays in the country. He considered the high number of holidays as a hindrance to overall economic growth. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, despite being on the other side of age, works continuously every day and till date he has not taken a single day off after assuming office at the PMO. Punjab needs to be more productive to get out of debt and the menace of drug abuse. People have entrusted the responsibility to Bhagwant Mann with great expectations. It is to be expected that he will contribute to increasing the productivity and prosperity of the state, and not worsen its already dilapidated financial condition. The intention of the political leaders behind declaring new public holidays is to please the different castes and communities so that it helps in garnering their votes. At that time they forget that the people of the state have to pay the price for inefficiency. It should be that on the memorial day of a great person, more work should be done than other days and a record of productivity should be made. There would have been happiness when the leaders, officers and employees of Punjab would work more than usual on Martyr’s Day and set new records of higher productivity.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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