Why celebrate?

Shall we then cancel Eid as a holiday?
Why celebrate?

Ours is a Muslim majority state. By `Muslim', I don't meanIslamic, and by `majority', I don't mean domination. I mean a demographic facttoo cold to be twisted to any ideological interpretation. I don't mean areligious privilege, but a democratic right we must demand with all confidence.The issue is logical not ideo-logical.

Eid is a few days away. And we may not have to explain whatEid is. Suspend the spiritual and moral, focus on the rational. Festivals likeDiwali, Holi, Christmas, Easter or Eid are like Halley's comets on thecalendar. Seen once (or twice) in a blue moon. If religious sensitivities arerespected elsewhere, why is the case different with us. Chistmas alongwith  the year end is a full week affair. Diwali isan elaborate celebration. But Eid – for us – disappears like a flicker. (Thoughofficially all these festivals are treated the same way, all are given a mereday but the fervour is different.) If triple talaq is made to merge in auniform civil code (and rightly so), why not Eid be given the uniformity ofother equally important festivals.

Believers, disbelievers, half-believers – all celebrate.Celebrations have a meaning for those civilisations who  ?are more modern than us. They produce morethan we do, but they also enjoy more than we do.

Why can't we stretch the span of celebration a little. DoesEid deserve a mere holiday? Can't we edit the calendar and cancel some lessimportant holidays which are more political than social in nature. Ourcelebrations suffer an abortion as schools and offices don't allow more than asingle day as holiday. We know we are losing our work days due to an abnormalsituation. That makes it even more difficult for us to give more leeway. Butour Eid was always just a day off even when it was all normal. Different storythat our offices don't function on the second and – in some cases – even on thethird day following Eid. One day we celebrate as official holiday and two moredays pass unofficially.  This way thesystem forces people to escape their duties. It's unfair but unavoidable. Weencourage dishonesty as officially one is present in the office, butunofficially celebrating with his family. A collective wrong all of us (areforced to) commit with a sense of guilt. To do away with this hide and seek,why not declare Eid at least a three-day holiday which it deserves theleast. 

The key lies with our policy-makers. But unfortunately theyact like human robots in the chair – dead to any social, emotional or culturalshock. Left to them, they may cancel even Eid as a holiday. Last year the wholestate machinery held a grand event bang on the day of Eid. The coincidencecouldn't be accidental as Eid still is a day Delhi knows Kashmir celebrateswith fervour. It killed the joy of thousands of government employees who had toleave their families to be a part of the swearing-in ceremony. Skies wouldn'tfall if the event were scheduled a day before or a day after.

Life is a range of activities and our planners need a lifetherapy. (Hope our new emerging political voices strike with a difference).Governance is not all about issuing orders and imposing codes. Discipline yes,but discipline demands due care to social sensitivities. Force is not the onlyfuel that runs the system, it needs an understanding of social needs and norms.Don't let festivals work as an excuse for indiscipline, but don't letdiscipline spoil our celebrations too. 

After all we are not official beings, we are human beingstoo.

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