Monday, September 7, 2009


In democracy, several methods are applied to attract voters – to award public holidays in order to appease followers of different religions, communities and castes is one of them. Sometimes government offices remain closed for 3-4 days in continuation causing serious hardships and problems to common people. How a country may afford five out of twelve months in compulsory holidays! Don’t get amazed – we are affording. An employee of U.P. government is legally authorized to avail 160 numbers of holidays (Gazetted-40, Restricted-02, Sundays-52, Second Saturday-12, Casual leave-14, Special casual leave-06, Earned leave-31, National holidays-03) in the year of 2009 as pre gazette of state government. No country in this world, other than India can award such a huge quantity of compulsory holidays. These holidays are responsible for non completion of different important projects in time, unnecessary delays in justice from courts and day to day hardships of common people. Sixth Pay Revision Commission had noticed this unhealthy traditions and strongly recommended curtailment of holidays, but no government could dare to bell the cat due to the fear of losing the precious vote bank of a particular section of population. But there are several methods to maintain balance without hurting the feelings of any community. The chronic problem may be solved and all the offices may be kept open for all the six days starting from Monday to Saturday by adopting following alternatives –

  1. Restricted and Second Saturday’s holidays may be cancelled for ever.
  2. The name of gazetted holidays be changed. These may be given a new name – Festival Leave.
  3. Except National holidays, no holidays should be declared public holiday.
  4. One can avail six festival holidays in a row, only on the eve of a particular festival

If a Hindu worker is willing to go home on Holi, he may gladly avail six days’ festival leave. Offices may be kept open with the help of workers of other religions and the persons unwilling to avail their leaves on that particular occasion. It will be the duty of head of office/department to keep office open for all the days except Sunday. It will increase the efficiency and output of all government departments. The present notification of holidays may be kept intact with dates. One can avail festival leaves at the time of festivals only. Gradually the number of festival leaves may be reduced from 40 to 25.

The employees will be the best beneficiaries because those working at distant places from their homes may celebrate that festival with their dear ones. They can easily get such leaves and spend at least one week with their kith and kins. Like casual leaves, every employee will try to make a good balance of festival leaves for availing these at correct point of time. The employees, who avail less than the prescribed leaves may be awarded incentives on pro rata basis. This system will not hurt the feelings of any community. It is in greater interest of our country in general and the employees in particular. The common people can visit any office on any day (except Sunday) for their works.

In the beginning, any reform invites oppositions and sharp reactions but after proper counseling, unanimity may be derived. Only a strong will power is required. We cannot dream to establish our country in the category of developed nations without increasing the number of working days.